MANILA, Philippines - The peso rose on Wednesday, the first trading day of the week, as reports of growing imports by China lifted sentiment in neighbouring emerging markets.
The local currency closed at 41.07 (S$1.23) against the US dollar, up by 20 centavos from Friday's finish of 41.27:$1.
Intraday high hit 41.04:US$1, while intraday low settled at 41.16:US$1. Volume of trade amounted to US$1.15 billion (S$1.42 billion) from US$859.8 million (S$1.06 billion) previously.
The appreciation of the peso and other emerging-market currencies came following reports that China registered a trade deficit in March on account of rising imports.
Traders said this signaled growing domestic demand in the world's second-biggest economy, which benefited exporting countries like the Philippines.
They said improvements in the Chinese economy could help emerging Asian markets, like the Philippines, post favourable export earnings in the remainder of the year. This bodes well for the Philippines, which recorded a contraction in exports in February.