Peso rises versus dollar on weak US labor data

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peso dollar bills

THE PESO strengthened slightly against the dollar on Monday due to weak labor data in the US and amid “very quiet” trading.

The local unit closed Monday’s session at P52.20 versus the greenback, five centavos higher than the P52.25-per-dollar finish last Friday.

The peso opened the session flat at P52.25 per dollar and dropped to as low as P52.28 intraday. Its best showing was logged at P52.17 versus the US currency.

Dollars traded thinned to $833.54 million from the $1.233 billion that switched hands the previous session.

“The peso strengthened on broad dollar weakening after the US non-farm payrolls data came in at an unexpected low of 20,000, which was way below market expectations,” a trader said in an e-mail.

The US economy added only 20,000 jobs in February, even as unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, US Labor Department reported last week.

The non-farm payrolls were way lower than the 180,000 market consensus and was the lowest job creation in more than a year or since September 2017.

“The dollar opened a little lower, given the dollar index’s move over the weekend due to weak non-farm payroll data in the US,” another trader said.

Throughout the day, the trader said the local unit moved mostly between P52.23 and P52.24 versus the dollar, although it reached its intraday low of P52.28 during the first 30 minutes of the trade.

The trader added that the market was “somehow very quiet” on Monday as it traded within a narrow range.

“There’s no news that made the markets move. Maybe the market is looking for fresh leads,” the trader added.

For today, the second trader expects the peso to move between P52.10 and P52.40 against the greenback, while the other gave a slightly slimmer range of P52.10-P52.30.

“The local currency might trim its gains ahead of likely firm US inflation figures for February 2019,” the first trader noted. — K.A.N. Vidal