Peso ends flat vs dollar

THE PESO moved sideways versus the greenback on Monday as investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the release of the first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data.

The local unit closed at P47.865 per dollar on Monday, inching down from its P47.855 finish on Friday, based on data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso opened the session at P47.80 against the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P47.877, while its intraday best was at P47.79 against the greenback.

Dollars traded went down to $715.25 million from $985.37 million on Friday.

The peso moved sideways versus the dollar on Monday as investors were looking ahead to release of Philippine gross domestic product data on Tuesday, a trader said in an e-mail.

A BusinessWorld poll of 18 analysts yielded a median estimate of a 2.6% decline in GDP for the January to March period.

If realized, this would mark the fifth consecutive quarter that the economy contracted — making this crisis the longest recession since the Marcos regime, when GDP declined for nine straight quarters from 1982 to 1985.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso inched down following softer US jobs data. The US Labor department on Friday reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 266,000 jobs in April, fewer than the 770,000 jobs added in March, Reuters reported.

For Tuesday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P47.80 to P47.90 per dollar, while the trader expects the local unit to move within the P47.80 to P48 levels. — L.W.T. Noble with Reuters

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