Peso stronger at 44.43:$1

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THE peso closed stronger against the US dollar on Thursday as disappointing manufacturing and retail sales in the United States dampened investor appetite for the greenback.

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The Philippine unit closed at P44.43 to $1, advancing by 11 centavos from P44.54 on Wednesday. Thursday’s finish was the strongest for the peso in a week since it settled at P44.39 on April 6 this year.

Jonathan Ravelas, BDO chief market strategist, said weak US manufacturing data and retail sales caused the dollar to lose some ground on Thursday.

US industrial production slipped 0.6 percent from a minimal 0.1 percent rise in February. Retail sales, on the other hand, missed the consensus forecast of 1 percent growth, rising just 0.9 percent in March after declining 0.5 percent in February.

The local currency opened at P44.44 to $1 on the Philippine Dealing System (PDS) on Thursday and traded between P44.38 and P44.45.

Total volume transacted increased to $687.3 million from $549.8 million in previous trading.

The government sees the local currency ranging between P43 and P46 to the dollar this year.

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