THE PESO ended stronger on Friday as traders took profit after favorable July retail sales data from the United States.

On Friday, the local unit closed at P52.44 versus the greenback, adding 10.5 centavos from its Thursday finish of P52.545 per dollar.

The peso opened the session at P52.55, which was also its lowest point for the day. Its strongest intraday showing was at P52.37 against the dollar.

However, volume of dollars traded on Friday thinned to $1.397 billion from the $1.661 billion seen last Thursday.

“The peso strengthened today as the upbeat US retail sales report signified lingering strength in the US economy which has eased some recession concerns,” a bond trader said via e-mail on Friday.

According to a Reuters report, US retail sales increased 0.7% in last month from downward-revised 0.3% in June, the Commerce department said.

On a year-on-year basis, retail sales in July rose 3.4%.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, is being underpinned by the lowest unemployment rate in nearly half a century.

Meanwhile a trader interviewed separately via phone said the peso’s performance on Friday was due to profit taking ahead of the weekend.

“As of now, we are consolidating as the market searches for new leads before moving again,” the trader said. — Mark T. Amoguis