THE peso firmed against the dollar on Friday in quiet trading ahead of the release of US jobs data.

The peso closed the week at P51.85 against the dollar, from the P51.87 finish on Thursday.

The peso traded within a narrow range, opening the session at P51.93, and slipping to as low as P51.97 intraday. However, it recovered to close the session at its strongest level for the day.

Trading volume dipped to $707.2 million, from $1.246 billion in the previous session.

A foreign exchange trader said peso-dollar trading was “very quiet” for most of the day, as financial markets in Japan and China are on holiday.

“We traded weaker for most of the day. It only closed stronger near the end, mainly on remittance covering over the weekend,” the trader said in a phone interview.

He added that the currency pair traded within the range throughout the day as market participants remained cautious ahead of the US non-farm payroll data to be released Friday night Philippine time.

The US economy likely created 190,000 additional jobs in April, which if realized would be slightly lower than the 196,000 non-farm payrolls booked in March.

Meanwhile, another trader said the peso ended stronger on Friday as market partcipants took profits on the dollar towards the close followingremarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on “transitory” factors that keep inflation low.

Mr. Powell said the US central bank does not see the need to trim interest rates, as inflation was low as a result of “transitory” factors such as portfolio management services, apparel prices and airfares.

“The remark eased dovish expectations of a possible future rate cut from the US Federal Reserve,” the second trader said in an e-mail. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal