Peso strengthens on imminent arrival of vaccines

The peso closed stronger on Friday, receiving a boost from the government’s announcement of the first vaccines due to arrive in the country this weekend, as well as positive hot money data for January.

The peso closed at P48.59 against the dollar, against its P48.605 finish Wednesday, according to data provided by the Bankers Association of the Philippines. The currency market was closed Thursday for a public holiday.

The peso declined against its week-earlier closing level of P48.451.

The currency opened at its low of P48.75. The intraday high was P48.49.

Dollar volume increased to $1.33 billion from $1.187 billion previously.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message that the peso appreciated due to the announcement that vaccine shipments were imminent.

The President’s Spokesman Herminio L. Roque said 600,000 doses of donated Chinese vaccine made by Sinovac donated will arrive on Feb. 28, with priority recipients to start getting shots the next day.

January hot money data released by the central bank on Friday also supported the peso, Mr. Ricafort added.

Foreign portfolio investments posted a net inflow of $97.92 million last month, reversing the year-earlier net outflow of $486.1 million and the $1.607 billion net outflows in December. — Luz Wendy T. Noble

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