Peso stronger as confidence on CoViD-19 vaccines up 

The peso strengthened against the US dollar at the start of the week as the impending arrival of the CoViD-19 vaccines drove the rise in confidence.

The local currency gained 2.4 centavos to close at ₱48.046:$1 versus last Friday’s finish of ₱48.07:$1. This is among the strongest in over four years since it closed at ₱47.99:$1 on 23 September 2016.

Over the weekend presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the Philippines targets to start vaccinations of frontline healthcare workers next Monday, 15 February, as the Government aims to inoculate the sector’s 1.4 million individuals in a month.

“The peso exchange rate grew stronger versus the US dollar amid continued market optimism on the expected or scheduled arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in the country by next week,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said in a mobile message.

Ricafort said the peso strength could have been attributed to the proposed ₱420-billion stimulus bill at the Lower House, and both the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) and Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) which both foreign investments await the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The peso strength also came as the upcoming three-year retail treasury bonds (RTBs) this week could entail , as well as global market risk appetite after US stocks rose to record highs.

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