THE PESO strengthened slightly against the dollar on Wednesday as the foreign currency traded weaker overnight due to President Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric on slapping trade tariffs.

The local currency ended yesterday’s session at P51.98 versus the greenback, two centavos stronger than the P52 finish on Tuesday. The peso opened the session weaker at P52.08 per dollar, while its worst showing was at P52.12. Its best showing, meanwhile, stood at P51.96 against the US currency.

Dollars traded dropped to $692.25 million from the $808 million traded in the previous session.

Traders interviewed yesterday said the pair traded quietly yesterday as volume thinned even as the local currency traded strong in the morning session.

“We’re still stuck within the range. We tried to trade [stronger] during the morning session following the weak dollar overnight due to Trump’s rhetoric on trade tariffs,” a trader said in a phone interview.

Last week, Mr. Trump said he will impose a 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum. The European Union retaliated by slapping tariffs on American-made goods such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon.

During a visit to the White House on Tuesday, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lˆfven expressed concern about the consequences of the tariffs.

“Swedish prosperity is based on corporation competitiveness and free trade, and I’m convinced that increased tariffs will hurt us all in the long run,” Mr. Lˆfven said.

In response, Mr. Trump said he will impose the tariffs “in a very loving way.”

“The peso moved [lower] at the start due to risk off. But the market was there to sell. Well, [the peso-dollar] traded fairly quiet [yesterday],” another trader said.

For today, the first trader said the peso is seen to trade between P51.90 and P52.10 versus the dollar, while the other trader gave a lower range of P51.95 to P52.15. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal