THE PESO returned to the P51-per-dollar level on Wednesday, driven by weak economic data in the United States as well as pent-up remittances after a holiday.

The local unit closed yesterday’s session at P51.90 versus the greenback, 24 centavos stronger than the P52.14 finish last Monday.

The peso traded stronger the whole day, opening the session at its intraday low of P52.10 per dollar. Meanwhile, its best showing for the day was at yesterday’s close.

Dollars traded climbed to $990 million from the $873.93 million that changed hands the previous session.

A trader said the peso opened the session stronger following lower durable goods orders in the US. The US Commerce Department reported on Tuesday that orders for non-defense capital goods slid 0.1% in February, dragged by easing demand for machinery and computers and electronic products, Reuters reported.

Durable goods, on the other hand, declined 1.6% in February, a reversal of a 0.1% increase the previous month.

“We still see there’s still risk-on sentiment over Monday and Tuesday, that’s why the peso was stronger than the dollar,” the trader said.

The trader added that the peso strengthened on dollar selling in the market amid accumulated remittances after a holiday on Tuesday for Araw ng Kagitingan.

Meanwhile, another trader said “muted” expectations for the US inflation data for March, which was scheduled for release Wednesday night, might “spur views of future dovish action from the US Federal Reserve.”

For today, the first trader expects the peso to move between P51.70 and P52.20 versus the dollar, while the other gave a P51.70-P52 range.

“We’re waiting for the local trade balance data release, so if it records a trade deficit, we can expect a weaker peso,” the first trader noted. — KANV