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Peso strengthens after euro debt issue

The peso closed stronger Friday after the government shored up its fiscal position by issuing 2.1 billion euros worth of bonds.

The peso closed at P48.381 against the dollar Friday, against its P48.41 close on Thursday, according to the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso opened the session at P48.39, with the intraday low at P48.40 and the high at P48.36.

Dollar volume rose to $666.47 million Friday from $595.5 million Thursday.

The peso was little changed from its week-earlier close of P48.38.

Also boosting sentiment was the expansion of the available vaccine supply, according to Michael L. Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., in a Viber message.

The government on Thursday raised 2.1 billion euros from a euro debt issue, according to the Bureau of the Treasury.

It sold 650 million million euros worth of four-year global bonds, another 650 million euros in 12-year notes, and 800 million euros worth of 20-year debt paper. Total tenders for the issue amounted to 6.5 billion euros.

The euro debt was issued less than a month after the government tapped the Japanese bond market on March 30, raising 55 billion yen from an issue of three-year notes.

“The peso was also stronger against the dollar on possible extension of MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region) in NCR Plus as new coronavirus cases remained relatively high despite the hard lockdowns that started on March 29, 2021, as this could still result in a slower recovery in imports and in the broader economy,” Mr. Ricafort added.

The NCR and the adjoining provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under ECQ for two weeks until April 11 amid surging case counts. Lockdown restrictions were eased to MECQ until April 30, with no word on further extensions.

The Health department reported 8,767 new cases Thursday, bringing the total to 971,049. Deaths have totaled 16,370 after 105 new deaths were recorded that day. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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