Peso hits nearly 7-mth high

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The Philippine peso hit a nearly seven-month high against the US dollar on Tuesday, tracking regional performance as rebounding oil prices weakens the greenback.

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The currency gained 11 centavos to close at P46.01 to $1 from its P46.12 finish on Monday.

It was the highest level for the peso since reaching P45.85 to $1 on October 15 last year.

“The peso continued to track the movement of regional currencies with the
dollar remaining weak due to resurgent oil prices,” Nicholas Antonio Mapa, associate economist at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), said.

Crude oil crested the $40/barrel ahead of the April 17 meeting between major oil producers, he explained.

Mapa added that foreign flows into the Philippine Stock Exchange index also helped the local currency appreciate although gains were capped with inflation data from the US out later in the week.

“The BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] was noted on the bid, stemming the sharp depreciation pressure as the central bank looks to smooth out sharp swings in currency movement,” he added.

The peso opened at P46.13 to $1 at the Philippine Dealing System before trading between P46.01 and P46.14. Total transactions fell to P464.8 million from P558.6 million in the previous session.

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