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Peso strengthens vs dollar as US Congress passes bill hiking debt ceiling

THE PESO appreciated versus the greenback on Wednesday after US legislators approved a measure that will temporarily increase the government’s borrowing limit.

The local unit ended trading at P50.655 per dollar on Wednesday, appreciating by 19.5 centavos from its close of P50.85 on Tuesday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Wednesday’s session at P50.82 against the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P50.83, while its intraday best was at P50.60 versus the greenback.

Dollars traded increased to $1.105 billion on Wednesday from $757.87 million on Tuesday.

A trader said the peso strengthened after legislators passed a measure that will raise the debt limit in the United States.

The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives gave final approval on Tuesday to legislation temporarily raising the government’s borrowing limit to $28.9 trillion, pushing off the deadline for debt default only until December, Reuters reported.

US President Joseph R. Biden is expected to sign the measure into law before Oct. 18, when the Treasury department has estimated it would no longer be able to pay the nation’s debts without congressional action.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso appreciated along with Southeast Asian currencies, reflecting better market sentiment as coronavirus infections decreased in the past days.

Active cases in the country rose by 8,615 to 82,228 on Tuesday, based on data from the Department of Health. Wednesday data had not been released as of this story’s writing.

For Thursday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P50.55 to P50.75, while the trader expects the local unit to trade within P50.55 to P50.80 per dollar. — LWTN with Reuters

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