Peso claws back losses

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Philippine peso bills are inspected by a resident in Manila in photo taken on December 28, 2011. -- BW FILE PHOTO

THE PESO finished the week stronger against the greenback despite hitting fresh multi-year lows in intraday trade due to robust US economic growth.

The local currency was lifted by upbeat key Chinese economic data, traders said.

It closed at P50.47 versus the dollar on Friday, appreciating by six centavos from its P50.53-per-dollar finish on Thursday, which was the peso’s weakest level in more than a decade or since it closed at P50.65 per dollar on Sept. 1, 2006.

Despite a stronger finish, the peso opened yesterday’s session at its worst showing for the day at P50.60 per dollar while its intraday peak was seen at P50.33 against the greenback.

Dollars traded totalled $760.9 million on Friday, rising from the $564.7 million that changed hands the previous session.

One trader attributed the peso’s rebound against the dollar yesterday to a sell-off among investors and on the back of strong Chinese manufacturing data.

“In the morning the peso was at P50.60 because overnight stocks were weak, but then towards the afternoon there was a selloff due to strong selling on the local currency,” the trader said by phone on Friday.

“Chinese manufacturing data was also stronger so it bolstered the peso that’s why it went as high as P50.33 per dollar,” the trader added.

Chinese factories grew their output at their fastest pace in three months in June, foreign media reported on Friday.

The trader mentioned that the peso opened the session weaker versus the foreign currency after the US Commerce Department revised upwards the gross domestic product data (GDP) for the first quarter.

“I think we saw a lot of profit taking and some trimmed their positions when the exchange rate fell at the P50.40 to the dollar levels,” the trader said. — Janine Marie D. Soliman