Stocks end week up, peso sideways

Stocks end week up, peso sideways

MANILA – The main stocks index recovered while the peso finished the week sideways against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) managed to rise Friday by 0.08 percent, or 4.80 points, to 6,197.38 points.

All Shares followed with a 0.19-percent or 7.08-point uptick to 3,652.60 points.

Two of the sectoral gauges tracked the main index but most finished the trade on the red.

Property increased by 0.92 percent and Industrial, by 0.22 percent.

Mining and Oil fell 2.68 percent, Financials by 0.37 percent, Services by 0.29 percent, and Holding Firms by 0.14 percent.

Volume totaled 2.26 billion shares amounting to PHP5.17 billion.

Losers led gainers at 115 to 82, while 47 shares were unchanged.

In a reply to e-mailed questions from the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said correction drove the main equity index’s rise even as risks from the spike in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) continue to worry investors.

Ricafort said volatility has resulted in the 1,671.88-point or 20.7-percent contraction of the main index since the start of the year.

Next week, the PSEi’s immediate support level is seen between the 6,000 and 6,100 levels while major support is at the 5,850 level, “which keeps the underlying upward trend/rally over the past 1.5 months intact.”

Among the factors for next week’s trading are the latest Covid-19 cases here and abroad, government moves to ease economic restrictions, and the latest report on the country’s foreign currency reserves and remittance inflows.

Meanwhile, the local currency finished the week’s trade at 49.485 from 49.41 on Thursday.

It opened the day at 49.50, little changed from its 49.45 start in the previous session, and traded between 49.52 and 49.45, resulting in an average of 49.49.

Volume totaled USD684.9 million, higher than the previous session’s USD641.7 million.

Ricafort attributed the negative factors on the local currency to reports about the wider trade deficit and net import data.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Friday reported that the country’s trade deficit reached USD1.87 billion last May, higher than the USD448.7 million in the previous month.

Exports contracted by 35.6 percent while imports declined by 40.6 percent.

He, however, said that despite the sideways close of the peso, the local currency “is still among the strongest vs. the US dollar in more than three years or since June 5, 2017.”

The greenback also posted a correction during the day against other currencies due to recent profit-taking in the global stocks market, Ricafort said, adding that the local unit strengthened for the fourth consecutive week against the US dollar while it has appreciated by PHP1.15 or 2.3 percent against the greenback since the start of the year.

He forecast the peso to trade between the 49.30 and 49.70 levels against the dollar next week. (PNA)

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