Peso climbs back to ₱53 level vs. dollar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 2) — The Philippine peso returned to the ₱53 level on Thursday, its strongest against the US dollar since June 17 of last year.

Data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed the local unit finished at ₱53.845, further regaining its footing against the greenback.

The peso opened Thursday's session at ₱54.20 per dollar, strengthening to as high as ₱53.835 during trading.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort noted that the currency's stronger performance followed the announcement about the country's upcoming retail treasury bond offering, which could woo foreign investments, and the Treasury bureau's release of the national government's debt data.

While the country's debt swelled to ₱13.42 trillion last year, its debt-to-gross domestic product ratio improved to 60.9% from 63.7% as of end-September 2022. This, as the Philippines realized its strongest economic growth since 1976 at 7.6% in 2022.

READ: PH debt bloats to ₱13.42T in 2022

Ricafort also attributed the continued appreciation of the peso to the decline of global crude oil prices, and the US Federal Reserve's small interest rate increase this week.

The economist expects the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to shadow the Fed's decision in February.

"The relatively stronger peso exchange rate vs. the US dollar recently, among the strongest in more than seven months recently would help ease inflationary pressures through lower importation costs/prices and also partly supported the recent gains in the local financial markets, especially the stock markets and the bond markets," he said.