The peso gained strength against the greenback in Thursday’s trade in line with the local equity market’s advance and after the latest US data indicated flat retail sales.
The local currency closed at P44.54 to $1, recouping 18 centavos from Wednesday’s finish at P44.72.
Thursday’s close was the strongest finish for the peso in more two weeks since it settled at P44.52 on April 30.
Nicholas Antonio Mapa, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), said the dollar lost its luster on weak US retail sales, possibly pushing back the Fed’s interest rate hike cycle.
US retail sales data for April stood unchanged from the revised March print. On a year-on-year basis, April retail sales firmed 0.9 percent, while retail sales without gasoline and autos inched up 0.2 percent from March.
“Gains on the local equity market on the back of foreign investments also [helped]the local unit to strengthen,” Mapa said.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 23.09 points or 0.30 percent to close at 7,831.44 on Thursday.
The peso opened at P44.65 to $1 on the Philippine Dealing System (PDS), before trading between P44.52 and P44.65.
Total volume transacted on the PDS grew to $722.2 million from $670.1 million previously.