Peso rises vs dollar as oil prices correct


THE PESO appreciated versus the greenback on Friday following a downward correction in global oil prices.

The peso closed at P48.62 per dollar on Friday, gaining six centavos from its P48.68 finish on Thursday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

However, it weakened by 16.5 centavos from its P48.455-a-dollar close on March 12.

The peso opened Friday’s session at P48.66 against the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P48.71 while its intraday best was at P48.60 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded dropped to $588.6 million on Friday from $748.3 million on Thursday.

The peso strengthened following a continued decline in oil prices, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message.

Reuters reported that oil prices dropped for the fifth day in a row on Thursday amid growing worries caused by the increasing coronavirus cases.

Prices of Brent futures declined by $4.72 or 6.9% to $63.28 per barrel. Meanwhile, US West Texas International (WTI) crude fell $4.60 or 7.1% to $60 a barrel.

The five-day losing streak is the longest for WTI since February last year and since September for Brent.

Mr. Ricafort said the peso also strengthened following the downward correction of the dollar after dovish signals from the US Federal Reserve.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said after the latest policy-setting meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee that the US central bank will keep rates low despite the recent uptick in US inflation. — LWTN with Reuters

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