THE PESO strengthened against the dollar on Thursday as investors stayed on the sidelines amid geopolitical noise from US President Donald J. Trump.

The local currency finished at P52.03 against the dollar yesterday, gaining four centavos from its P52.07 close on Wednesday.

The peso opened slightly weaker at P52.08 versus the dollar. Its intraday low stood at P52.12, while its best showing was at P52.025 against the greenback.

Dollars traded thinned to $465.5 million yesterday from the $500.35 million that changed hands in the previous session.

“The pair still traded within the range; volume was lower. The market is somehow dead these past few days,” a trader said, adding that other currencies were also trading within range as well.

“International currencies didn’t move as much as well… they’re also trading within the range because of the headlines lately, for example, Mr. Trump’s rhetoric.”

Another trader attributed the movement to the “heightened possibility of a trade war between the US and China over steel tariffs.”

For today, traders said the pair would still trade within the range of P51.90 and P52.20.

“The local currency is expected to move quite weaker ahead of softer Eurozone inflation data and release of US housing and industrial data Friday evening but may find strength should US-China apparent trade conflict intensifies and if the Eurozone fail to seek exemptions to the planned US tariffs,” the second trader said. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal