MANILA -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said Tuesday he did not find the peso "too strong" at the P52 level to the dollar.
The local currency is still within the P52 to P55 target, said Diokno, who as budget secretary said a weak peso would not necessarily bad for the economy.
The peso fell 0.7 percent to P52.55 to the dollar in late afternoon trading after Diokno's comments in an interview with ANC. It was the only loser among emerging-market currencies in Asia on Tuesday, based on Bloomberg data.
"I don't find it too strong," Diokno said. "It is within our forecast band of 52 to 55."
"Our policy is it's market determined. We won't intervene as long as it is within a reasonable band. Right now it is within that band," he said in his first sit-down interview since assuming office last week.
The peso has rallied against the dollar since the start of the year, riding on a slew of positive economic news. It has hovered at the P52 per dollar level after plummeting to a 13-year-low of P54.41 last October.
Cooling inflation and a stabilizing current account position is aiding the peso's recovery against the dollar, with the local currency expected to end the year at the P52 level, Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group earlier told ANZ.
The peso was the strongest Asian currency in February, he said.