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Peso climbs as focus turns to US leadership change

THE PESO strengthened against the greenback on Wednesday on investor optimism hours ahead of the formal transition to the presidency of Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

The local unit closed at P48.06 per dollar, gaining 1.8 centavos from its Tuesday finish of P48.078, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Wednesday’s session at P48.03 a dollar, which was also its intraday best. Meanwhile, its weakest showing was at its close of P48.06 against the greenback.

Dollars traded reached $727.5 million, more than the $650.6 million see on Tuesday.

The peso appreciated versus the dollar ahead of the inauguration of Mr. Biden, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message.

Mr. Biden’s was set to be inaugurated after local markets closed yesterday. The US government, under the leadership of the Democratic party, will push for a $1.9-trillion stimulus package to help the economy recover, Mr. Biden earlier said.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso climbed “after [US] Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen called to “act big” on stimulus spending to support the US economic recovery”.

Ms. Yellen, Mr. Biden’s nominee for Treasury chief, said her incoming role will be to aid Americans while the population is being vaccinated and to help recovery for the world’s largest economy, Reuters reported.

For today, Mr. Ricafort said the peso could hover between the P48.02 to P48.08 per dollar while the trader expects a wider band of P48 to P48.20. — LWTN with Reuters

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