THE PESO inched up versus the greenback on Monday following data showing a softer economic contraction in the first quarter, which came ahead of the release of the second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report.
The local unit closed at P50.385 per dollar, gaining 1.5 centavos from its P50.40 finish on Friday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.
The peso opened Monday’s session at P50.49 against the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P50.50, while its intraday best was at P50.31 versus the greenback.
Dollars exchanged slumped to $682.88 million on Monday from $1.28 billion on Friday.
The peso strengthened after the release of the updated first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, which showed a softer contraction in the period, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.
The economy shrank by 3.9% in the January to March period, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on Monday showed, slightly better than the 4.2% fall reported in May.
Mr. Ricafort said the peso also rose on lower demand for the greenback, as seen in the trading volume, as the Metro Manila lockdown affected business activity.
Meanwhile, a trader said the local unit gained on optimism ahead of the release of second quarter GDP data on Tuesday.
A BusinessWorld poll of 20 analysts yielded a median estimate of a 10.6% GDP growth in the second quarter. If realized, this would be a reversal of the 17% contraction logged in the same period in 2020 and would mark the country’s exit from recession.
For today, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P50.30 to P50.45 per dollar, while the trader expects the peso to move within P50.30 to P50.50. — LWTN