Peso down vs USD on upbeat US housing data, oil price hikes

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine peso weakened to a US dollar Thursday following the surge in oil prices and above-consensus US home sales among others.

It shed PHP0.21 and finished the trade at 46.44 from the previous session’s 46.22, which a trader also attributed to investors’ wait-and-see stance ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy meeting later in the day.

”Risk sentiment became positive after some Fed (US Federal Reserve) officials turned more hawkish in recent days,” the trader said.

US existing home sale grew by 5.1 percent in March 2016, exceeding market consensus of 3.5 percent, which the trader said added to risk sentiment of investors.

This report, for one, resulted to the weaker opening of the local currency at 46.35 from Wednesday’s 45.10.

It traded between 46.32 and 46.44 bringing the day’s average to 46.38.

Volume of trade reached USD710.5 million, higher than the previous session’s USD593 million.

On Friday, the currency pair is seen to trade between 46.30 and 46.50. PNA/