THE PESO may continue to move sideways against the dollar this week, with key US data releases expected to be major trading drivers.

The local unit closed at P55.90 per dollar on Friday, weakening by 19.5 centavos from its P55.705 finish on Thursday, Bankers Association of the Philippines data showed.

Week on week, the peso strengthened by six centavos from its P55.96 close on Feb. 16.

Dollars exchanged went up to $1.25 billion on Friday from $1.24 billion on Thursday.

The peso strengthened on Friday after the dollar weakened due to strong US data that tempered expectations of an early rate cut by the US Federal Reserve this year, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.

For this week, the release of the second estimate for US gross domestic product (GDP) data on Wednesday and the January US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index report on Thursday will affect peso-dollar trading, he said.

Mr. Ricafort sees the peso ranging from P55.70 to P56.20 per dollar this week. — AMCS