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Peso climbs amid continued overseas tensions

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A bank employee displays US dollar (L) and Philippine notes (R) in Manila on August 3, 2011. — AFP

THE PESO strengthened against the dollar on Friday on the back of a slightly weaker dollar amid continued geopolitical tensions abroad.

The local currency closed at P51.95 against the greenback, eight centavos stronger than the P52.03-per-dollar finish on Thursday.

The peso opened the trading session slightly weaker at P52.04. It rose to as high as P51.935, while its intraday low stood at P52.045.

Dollars traded slid to $522.65 million from the $627.2 million booked the previous session.

A trader said the peso continued to trade within the P51.90-P52.10 range as it tracked the slight weakness of the greenback.

“We traded in the same range. We just closed stronger as we [tracked] a little bit of weakness in the US dollar across the board,” the trader said in a phone interview.

“We are seeing tensions rising again in the Middle East when [President Donald J.] Trump tweeted about Syria.”

Mr. Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday a possible military action in Syria following a suspected chemical attack in the war-torn country, saying that missiles “will be coming” and that Russia “should get ready.”

“With that, we’re seeing a little bit of movement in oil prices,” the trader said, adding that dollar weakened despite the risk-off sentiments.

“Usually when there is risk-off, usually the dollar is going stronger. But in this case, parang hindi (it seems like it’s not).”

Meanwhile, another trader said: “The peso strengthened as investors took profit from the dollar’s strength following the hawkish Federal Reserve minutes released [on Thursday].”

In a report from Reuters, all of the US Federal Reserve officials felt that the American economy would firm and that inflation would rise in the coming months, minutes of the March meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee released on Thursday showed. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal