THE PESO appreciated against the dollar on Wednesday before the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) policy review on Thursday.

The local unit closed at P57.505 per dollar on Wednesday, surging by 33.5 centavos from its P57.84 finish on Tuesday, Bankers Association of the Philippines data showed.

The peso opened Wednesday’s session stronger at P57.71 against the dollar. Its weakest showing was at P57.74 versus the greenback, while it closed at its intraday best.

Dollars exchanged rose to $1.27 billion on Wednesday from $1.14 billion on Tuesday.

“The peso appreciated amid potentially hawkish remarks from the BSP policy meeting,” a trader said in an e-mail.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message that the Monetary Board is likely to mirror the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep rates steady at its own meeting earlier this month.

The BSP is widely expected to keep its policy rate at a 17-year high of 6.5% for a fifth straight meeting on Thursday, according to 17 out of 19 analysts in a BusinessWorld poll.

The central bank raised borrowing costs by a cumulative 450 basis points from May 2022 to October 2023.

BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr. previously said the Monetary Board could cut rates as early as the third quarter if inflation settles within target and if economic growth is weaker than expected. Otherwise, it could begin easing as late as the first quarter of 2025.

Meanwhile, the US central bank this month kept its target rate at the 5.25%-5.5% range for a sixth straight review.

For Thursday, the trader said the peso will move depending on the US consumer inflation report to be released overnight.

The trader sees the peso moving between P57.35 and P57.60 a dollar, while Mr. Ricafort expects it to range from P57.40 to P57.60. — A.M.C. Sy