PHL peso gains strength on ECB decision, drop in US’ industrial output

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, (PNA) — The Philippine peso ended the week better than the greenback on contraction of US’ industrial production in March 2015 and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to keep its key rates steady

The local currency ended Friday at 44.27, Php 0.16 better than its 44.43 finish Thursday.

A trader said the drop in US’ industrial production by 0.6 percent against market consensus of 0.1 percent slowdown made investors worry anew about the timing of the expected increase in Federal Reserve rates within the year.

”This proved to be a negative for the dollar since the timing of the possible hike has again pushed back from an earlier forecast of mid-year,” the trader said.

Trading was biased to the local unit after it opened at 44.37, sideways from the 44.44 a day ago.

It’s closing level was the local currency’s strongest for the day while weakest stood at 44.375.

This brought the day’s average to 44.33, slightly better than the 44.41 Thursday.

Volume of trade reached USD 499.1 million, lower than the USD 687.3 million in the previous trading.

Next week, the currency pair is seen to trade between 44.20 and 44.50. (PNA)