THE PESO may strengthen against the dollar this week as the government prepares for the distribution of the stimulus funds under the recently signed Bayanihan II Act.

The local unit closed at P48.54 per dollar on Friday, rising three centavos from its P48.57 finish on Thursday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

Week on week, the peso was also higher than its P48.62-per-dollar close on Sept. 4.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said demand for the peso may increase this week as business activities pick up.

“The government measures to further reopen the local economy from lockdowns will help economic recovery prospects,” Mr. Ricafort said in an email.

He said these include the increase in the passenger capacity of public transportation, allowing more workers to travel.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso may continue to strengthen against the dollar today following the signing of fresh stimulus funding under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan II.

“The greenback may depreciate today as optimism might prevail in local financial markets following President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s signing of the Bayanihan II into law on Friday,” the trader said in an email.

Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to range from P48.50 to P48.65 versus the dollar this week. Meanwhile, the trader sees the local unit moving within the P48.25 to P48.75 band. — KKTJ