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Peso rebounds, tracking Asian currencies

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THE PESO recovered on Friday to log its best showing in a week, tracking other currencies in the region that strengthened versus the dollar.

The peso ended the week at P52.535 against the greenback, 32.5 centavos better than the P52.86 finish logged on Thursday. This is the currency’s best performance since Jan. 18 when the peso closed at P52.515 to a dollar.

The currency opened weaker at P52.90 and touched an intraday low of P52.91 versus the dollar. The local unit climbed to as strong as P52.53 before settling at the closing rate.

Two traders interviewed by phone said the stronger peso mirrored movements among Asian currencies, which gained strength as the dollar depreciated.

“Dollar-Asia moved generally lower and we’re tracking the region,” one foreign exchange trader said.

Reuters reported that the dollar index fell by 0.19% on Friday amid trade tensions and uncertainty on future rate hikes of the Federal Reserve.




“The dollar reversed its movement overnight. Also, I think the market is very wary of taking big positions over the weekend,” a second trader added, pointing out that investors are waiting for news about talks in Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum 2019 is being held.

The trader said market players are also awaiting further comments with a possible trade deal between the United States and China following a tariff war on goods exports.

The second trader also noted that investors are reluctant to go long on dollars, but noted that they are not seeing big corporate flows.

Dollars traded on Friday reached $1.015 billion, higher than the $950.49 million that exchanged hands the previous day.

The peso weakened on Thursday following a weaker-than-expected gross domestic product for 2018, which eased to 6.2% from 6.7% in 2017. This failed to hit the revised 6.5-6.9% target set by the Duterte administration, following a disappointing six percent expansion during the fourth quarter. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez