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Peso rises vs dollar following decline in oil prices


THE PESO strengthened versus the greenback on Tuesday as fuel prices fell and with US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell getting an endorsement from President Joseph R. Biden for a second term.

The local unit closed at P50.59 against the dollar on Tuesday, gaining six centavos from its P50.65 finish on Monday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P50.70 per dollar, weaker than its previous close. Its worst showing was at P50.765, while its intraday best was at P50.58 versus the greenback.

Dollars exchanged dropped to $1.24 billion on Tuesday from $1.402 billion on Monday.

The decline in oil prices supported the peso on Tuesday, a trader said in an e-mail.

Oil prices dropped as major economies including the US, Japan, and India are reportedly releasing their reserves to help stem the increase in pump prices, according to Reuters.

Brent crude futures decreased by 67 cents or 0.8% to $79.03 a barrel at 0721 GMT Tuesday, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped by 88 cents or 1.2% to $75.87 a barrel.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the market took Mr. Powell’s renomination as good news, boosting the local unit.

Mr. Biden on Monday endorsed Mr. Powell for another four-year term as Fed chair, saying the US central bank had taken a “decisive action” to respond to the crisis under his leadership.

For Wednesday, the trader gave a forecast range of P50.50 to P50.75 per dollar, while Mr. Ricafort expects the local unit to move within P50.50 to P50.70. — L.W.T. Noble with Reuters

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