Peso inches down ahead of US data


THE PESO moved sideways versus the greenback on Monday, with investors staying on the sidelines ahead of key US data.

The local unit closed at P48.39 per dollar, slipping from its P48.381 close on Friday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Monday’s session at P48.32 against the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P48.42, while its strongest was at P48.31 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded declined to $514.68 million on Monday from $666.47 million on Friday.

UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. Chief Economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said the peso moved sideways ahead of the release of key US economic data.

“The local market, I believe, is already anticipating US market developments with strong US data anticipated this week,” Mr. Asuncion said in a text message.

The US Commerce Department was set to report durable goods orders and the core capital goods orders data for March later on Monday.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso slipped due to the continued surge in local coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections.

The Health department reported 8,929 new cases on Monday, bringing the tally to 1.006 million.

For today, Mr. Asuncion gave a forecast range of P48.30 to P48.50 per dollar, while Mr. Ricafort expects the local unit to move within the P48.34 to P48.44 levels. — LWTN