Peso gains vs dollar on revised US Q1 growth

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THE peso gained strength against the US dollar in Monday’s trade as investors mulled how the United States’ revised first-quarter economic growth would affect the timing of an expected Federal Reserve rate hike.

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The local currency closed at P44.53 to $1 on Monday, gaining 6 centavos from its P44.59 finish on Friday last week.

Monday’s close was the strongest finish for the peso in over a week since it settled at P44.49 on May 21.

Nicholas Antonio Mapa, Bank of the Philippine Islands associate economist, said there was generally light volume during trading so the market easily moved lower on the dissipating US dollar strength.

“First-quarter GDP [gross domestic product]data from the US was revised from 0.2 percent to 0.7 percent, causing some dealers to question the timing of the Fed rate hike,” he said.

The peso opened at P44.58 to $1 on the Philippine Dealing System (PDS), before trading between P44.51 and P44.59 for the rest of the session.

Total volume transacted fell to $429.4 million from $576.8 million previously.

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