THE PESO traded weaker against the dollar on Friday amid quiet trading as market players stood cautious ahead of the release of job creation data in the United States.

The currency closed at P51.15 versus the greenback, down 14 centavos from Thursday’s P51.01 finish.

The local unit traded generally weaker on Friday as it opened at P51.10-per-dollar. It hit P51.17 as its intraday low and touched P51.07 as its best showing during the session.

Two traders said in separate interviews that the peso’s move was largely due to the strong dollar observed over the past week as markets await the release of latest non-farm payrolls data in the US on Friday night.

“Market players are on a wait-and-see mode. Those who bought dollar earlier didn’t want to add more to their positions,” one trader said.

Strong labor figures would support the decision of the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for a third time this year, while a disappointing turnout may halt such plans.

“It’s still the same story: the dollar is firming up because of good non-manufacturing ISM (Institute for Supply Management) and ADP employment reports. We’re seeing the dollar supported at these levels,” the second trader added.

The second trader pointed out that Friday saw quiet trading, with only $498.8 million exchanging hands versus the $794.7 million traded the previous day.

Reuters reported that American private firms added 135,000 jobs in September, higher than expectations from economists at 125,000 new positions. This came despite the expected downward impact drawn from hurricane Harvey and Irma which are said to affect small retailers.

On the other hand, the ISM non-manufacturing index rose to its highest level since August 2005 in September and the prices paid index reached its highest level since February 2012, Reuters said in a report. This has been viewed to support strong factory activity and the US’ economic recovery, which may be seen by the Fed as a signal for a fresh rate hike. – Melissa Luz T. Lopez