The peso weakened to the P45 level to the dollar on Thursday, hitting a seven-month low as the stronger greenback continued to dominate global markets on the back of improving labor data in the United States.
The local currency opened at P44.98 to $1 on the Philippine Dealing System (PDS) before trading between P44.98 and P45.12.
The unit closed at P45.00, the weakest level since March 27, when the peso traded at P45.04 per dollar.
Thursday’s trading showed a 3-centavo fall from the P44.97 close on Wednesday.
Total volume transacted on the PDS rose to $736.9 million from $517 million traded Wednesday.
“General dollar strength is coming from upbeat labor data from the United States,” said Nicholas Antonio Mapa, associate economist at the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
The economist cited data from payroll processor ADP that showed employment in US topped analysts’ consensus estimates with 230,000 additional jobs created in October.
Wage indices also trended higher, which also fueled dollar strength, Mapa said.
“Towards the close [of Thursday’s trading session], dealers closed out long USD positions to book profit but the peso still closed weaker,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist of Banco De Oro said the peso closing on Thursday now puts the P45.50 level at risk, although the near-term trading range is still seen between P44.90 and P45.10 to the dollar.
MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO