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Peso inches up on push for US stimulus, vaccination progress

THE PESO inched up against the greenback on Wednesday amid the push for the urgent passage of a stimulus package in the US and the global vaccination drive.

The local unit closed at P48.019 per dollar, up slightly from its P48.053 finish on Tuesday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso started Wednesday’s trading session at P48.025 per dollar. Its weakest showing was at P48.03 while its intraday best was its closing level.

Dollars exchanged climbed to $1.574 billion on Wednesday from $597.7 million on Tuesday. 

The peso gained on hopes of the faster passage of a fresh US stimulus package, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a new economic forecast showed the country “desperately” needs faster enactment of the proposed $1.9 trillion American rescue plan, Reuters reported.

Ms. Yellen noted that while growth is expected this year, estimates from the Congressional Budget Office showed it will take until 2024 for the country to recover its pre-pandemic job levels.

The peso was also supported by news of progress in vaccinations worldwide, Mr. Ricafort added.

For today, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P47.99 to P48.05 per dollar. — LWTN with Reuters

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