THE PESO was steady versus the dollar on Wednesday after the House of Representatives transmitted the 2021 national budget bill to the Senate and amid further delays in the passage of a stimulus measure in the United States.

The local unit closed at P48.375 versus the dollar on Wednesday, unchanged from its previous finish, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened slightly stronger at P48.35 on Wednesday, peaking at P48.33 per dollar. Meanwhile, its weakest showing intraday was at P48.40 against the greenback.

Dollars traded declined to $534.6 million on Wednesday from $838.37 million on Tuesday.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso was flat after the House of Representatives submitted to the Senate its proposal for a P4.5-trillion national budget for next year, earlier than Malacañang’s Oct. 28 deadline.

Meanwhile, a trader said the peso was steady versus the dollar as hopes for the approval of a stimulus before the US presidential elections on Nov. 3 faded. The stimulus is meant to help sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump acknowledged on Tuesday that a coronavirus economic relief deal would likely come after the Nov. 3 election, with the White House unable to bridge differences with fellow Republicans in the US Senate as well as congressional Democrats, Reuters reported.

Mr. Trump and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi have traded blame for the impasse over another large stimulus package worth around $2 trillion to help Americans weather the pandemic.

Ms. Pelosi, the top elected Democrat, led the House to pass a $3-trillion coronavirus relief bill in May, but Republicans who control the Senate balked at another large bill. They pushed a much smaller measure, which failed, then left Washington after confirming Mr. Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, to the Supreme Court.

The White House has said aid to state and local governments has been the main sticking point in the talks, while Democrats also cited the lack of a national coronavirus testing plan.

Infections are surging again in the United States and 36 out of 50 states have seen an increase for at least two weeks in a row, according to the Reuters analysis. Deaths have also more than doubled in seven states.

For Thursday, Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to move from P48.32 to P48.42 versus the dollar, while the trader sees it ranging from P48.35 to P48.45. — KKTJ with Reuters