Peso sinks on weaker remittance data

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The peso weakened against the dollar on Monday, April 16, as the money sent home by Filipinos overseas was weaker than expected in February.

The local currency ended Monday’s session at P52.07 versus the greenback, 12 centavos weaker than the P51.95-per-dollar finish on Friday.

The peso opened the session stronger at P51.92, which was also its best showing for the day. During the day, it dipped to as low as P52.12 against the US currency.

Dollars traded slipped slightly to $518.1 million from the $522.65 million logged during the previous session.

“The peso broke from tight range as it ended weaker,” a trader said in a phone interview on Monday.

“I think it’s mostly on the back of the remittance data of the Philippines coming in weaker than expected.”

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas revealed that Filipinos abroad sent home more money in February, totaling $2.267 billion. This was 4.5% higher than the $2.169 billion inflows logged in the same month last year.

However, the 4.5% growth was lower than the 14.7% pickup as expected by the analysts at HSBC Global Research.

“The peso weakness is quite surprising because other currencies are seeing a weaker dollar. This is a specific move for the peso,” the trader added.

Meanwhile, another trader said that the peso weakened “amid safe-haven buying for the dollar following the escalation of geopolitical concerns on military activities in Syria during over the weekend.”

The White House announced that American, British and French military forces struck what is believed to be a chemical weapons facility in Damascus, Syria following a suspected gas poison attack.

In response, Russia vowed to respond to any attack on its ally, adding that the Syrian military had intercepted 71 of the missiles fired. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal