MANILA - (UPDATE) The Philippine peso continued to strengthen versus the US dollar and even touched the P49 level in midtrade before closing at P50.04 to the greenback on Wednesday.
The peso previously closed at 50.14 on December 22.
This was the peso's fifth straight session of gains and its longest winning streak since November when it gained for seven straight sessions. Wednesday's close was also the peso's highest since mid-June.
The central bank said the peso's current strength was driven by multiple factors, including the seasonally strong remittances by Filipinos working overseas and equity inflows.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla also cited the dollar's softness amid uncertainty on the impact of tax legislation in the United States, and the "attractive" domestic macroeconomic fundamentals.
An analyst said the peso would likely weaken after the holidays.
"I think on a more normal basis we would expect the exchange rate to start falling to about 51-52 (to the dollar)," said Manny Ocampo, director for corporate finance at Abacus Capital and Investment.
Most Asian currencies also edged higher against the dollar.
"We are seeing a bit of a recovery in line with strength in the Asian currency space. The peso is playing a bit of catch up," said Wei Liang Chang, FX strategist with Mizuho Bank. -- with a report from Reuters