Peso inches up vs dollar ahead of Fed meeting

THE PESO barely moved versus the dollar on Tuesday as investors waited for the US central bank’s latest policy decision. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE PESO ended almost flat against the greenback on Tuesday as the market waits for new signals from the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

The local unit closed at P48.381 per dollar on Tuesday, inching up from its P48.39 close on Monday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P48.37 per dollar, which was also its intraday best. Meanwhile, its weakest showing was at P48.435 against the greenback.

Dollars exchanged rose to $643.5 million from $514.68 million on Monday.

The peso was barely changed as investors await the policy decision of the Fed, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said.

The Federal Open Market Committee will revisit its policy settings on April 27-28. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell last week said they remain fully committed to their mandate of maximum employment and stable prices while also recognizing inflation could be “a little higher” this year, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso inched up against the dollar following weaker-than-expected US retail sales data in March.

Data from the US Commerce department showed orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft picked up by 0.9%, turning around from the 0.8% contraction in February, Reuters reported. However, it was lower than the 1.5% anticipated by economists in a Reuters poll.

For Wednesday, Mr. Ricafort gave a forecast range of P48.33 to P48.43 per dollar while the trader expects the local unit to move within the P48.30 to P48.50 levels. — LWTN with Reuters