Peso closes flat vs dollar on stimulus, Wall Street

The peso closed flat versus the greenback on Tuesday on gains in US stocks and hopes of the passage of a bigger stimulus package under US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

The local unit closed at P48.049 per dollar on Tuesday, nearly unchanged from its P48.046 finish on Monday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso started Tuesday’s trading session at P48.06 versus the dollar, which was also its weakest showing for the day. Meanwhile, its strongest intraday level was at P48.04 against the greenback.

Dollars traded dropped to $357.6 million on Tuesday from the $513.05 million seen on Monday.

The peso barely moved versus the dollar on Wall Street’s gains, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message.

Wall Street reached all-time closing highs on Monday as investor optimism was stoked by prospects of a speedier economic recovery from the global health crisis, driven by increased stimulus and an accelerated vaccine rollout, Reuters reported.

All three major US stock indexes gained ground, with the S&P 500 and the Dow posting their sixth consecutive gains, their longest winning streak since August. Small-caps, set to benefit most from the economic rebound, outperformed their larger peers.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said if Congress approves the president’s $1.9-trillion fiscal aid package, the United States could return to full employment next year.

That package came closer to passage on Friday when lawmakers approved a budget outline that would enable Democrats to muscle it through Congress without Republican support.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.52 points or 0.76% to 31,385.76; the S&P 500 gained 28.76 points or 0.74% to 3,915.59; and the Nasdaq Composite added 131.35 points or 0.95% to 13,987.64.

Meanwhile, a trader said peso-dollar trading on Tuesday showed that investors are waiting on the sidelines for the legislation of a proposed $1.9-trillion stimulus package in the United States.

This Wednesday, Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to move within the P48.04 to P48.07 per dollar while the trader gave a forecast range of P48 to P48.10. — LWTN with Reuters

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