The peso continued to strengthen against the dollar Friday, buoyed by balance of payments and gross international reserves data.
The peso closed at P48.06 against the dollar, against its P48.115 finish Thursday, according to the Bankers Association of the Philippines.
The peso opened the session at P48.13, its low for th day. The high was P48.055.
Trading volume was $783.4 million, against $575.71 million Thursday.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso further strengthened after the central bank on Thursday released October balance of payments (BoP) data.
“The peso was stronger after the highest BoP surplus in nearly a decade which supports new record high GIR (gross international reserves) at $103.8 billion and provides greater support for the peso exchange rate,” he said in a text message.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that the Philippines posted a BoP surplus of $3.44 billion last month, up significantly from the year-earlier $163 million and up 63% compared with September.
This was the biggest monthly surplus since the $3.95 billion recorded in November 2010.
Contributing to the October surplus were the BSP’s income from investments overseas, inflows from its foreign exchange operations and foreign currency deposits of the national government held with the central bank, the central bank said in a statement.
The BSP expects a BoP surplus of $8.1 billion by year’s end which is equivalent to 0.6% of gross domestic product.
The BSP also said GIR rose to $103.8 billion at the end of October from $100.44 billion a month earlier. The bank said the October tally was equivalent to about 10 months worth of imports and services payments which can serve as a buffer against external risk.
A trader said the BoP data increased demand for the peso while pointing to growing exports during the pandemic.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said September exports grew 2.2% to $6.22 billion, the first month of expansion since February. Meanwhile, imports declined 16.5% to $7.92 billion. — Kathryn Kristina T. Jose