Peso strengthens further

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THE PESO strengthened against the dollar on Monday as markets see better inflation data and economic growth figures later this week, boosting prospects for the Philippines.

The peso closed stronger on Monday at P53.22 versus the greenback, its best showing for the day, from P53.535 last Oct. 31.

The local currency opened stronger at P53.27 against the dollar, which was its best showing for the day. It weakened to as much as P53.31.

Traders interviewed via phone said that the market is anticipating better inflation and gross domestic product (GDP) growth data, which will be released this week.

A BusinessWorld poll of 15 economists yielded a median inflation estimate of 6.7%, which if realized would be steady from September.

They also expect a 6.3% GDP growth in the third quarter, faster than the 6% in the second quarter.

The first trader said the seasonal uptick in remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) during the holiday season may have already started.

“This November, the peak season for flows from OFWs is near, so it triggered the strengthening of the peso. The remittances started to come in, although the larger factor is really on the inflation and GDP,” the trader said.

Another trader meanwhile said there was a lack of fresh leads ahead of developments on a possible trade deal between Washington and Beijing that may reverse the ongoing trade war.

“The outlook is the same, the market is not that focused on the US, as I think there are stronger developments here in the dollar-peso exchange,” the second trader said. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan