THE PESO may strengthen this week following the passage of the 2021 national budget and the easing of quarantine measures in the country.

The peso rose to P48.625 against the dollar last Friday from its P48.68 finish on Thursday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

Week on week, however, the local currency was weaker by 32 centavos from its P48.305-per-dollar finish on Oct. 9.

A trader said the peso strengthened last week as the House of Representatives concluded its hearings on the P4.5-trillion budget for 2021 in a special session on Friday.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the local currency was stronger after the government lifted its quarantine for people as young as 15 and senior citizens as old as 65.

Previously, people aged below 21 and above 60 were prohibited from going to public areas, such as malls.

“Further government measures are seen to further reopen the economy, such as increasing capacity of businesses and further easing restrictions on public transportation,” Mr. Ricafort said in a text message.

For this week, the trader said the market will await further developments on the 2021 national budget.

Mr. Ricafort and the trader said other catalysts for peso-dollar trading this week include latest data on the country’s balance of payments position and budget balance to be released on Oct. 19 and Oct. 21, respectively.

For this week, the trader sees the peso moving from P48.45 to P48.65 versus the dollar, while Mr. Ricafort expects it to range from P48.45 to P48.75. — KKTJ