THE peso strengthened against the dollar on Friday after slower-than-expected inflation for August and in line with a market rally in major economies.

The local currency closed at P51.905 a dollar, 10.5 centavos stronger than Thursday’s close, according to data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso appreciated by 14.5 centavos from a week earlier.

Union Bank of the Philippines chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion traced the peso’s strength to August inflation, which eased to 1.7%.

“General market perception may have also been a factor due to positive US economic data released recently,” he added.

Another trader who didn’t want to be named said the peso appreciated against the dollar after the US and China booked a meeting for trade talks.

The two countries agreed to hold talks in early October in Washington, cheering investors hoping that the trade war between them would thaw, as new US tariffs on Chinese consumer goods cut global growth.

The peso opened at P51.95 and traded tightly, with its weakest point at P52.055 and its intraday best at P51.85 a dollar.

Dollars traded rose by $710,000 to $1.4498 billion.

Mr. Asuncion expects the peso to trade at P51.70 to P52 against the greenback next week. — Luz Wendy T. Noble