Peso inches sideways, stocks slip ahead of SONA

Peso inches sideways, stocks slip ahead of SONA

MANILA – The peso ended sideways against the US dollar on Monday but was still on its more-than-three-year high while the main equities index slipped anew ahead of the President’s State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA).

The local currency closed at 49.25 against the greenback from 49.33 on Friday last week.

It opened the day at 49.30, sideways from its 49.38 in the previous session, and traded between 49.32 and 49.16, resulting in an average of 48.223.

Volume totaled USD838.17 million, higher than the USD472.5 million at the end of last week.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) contracted for the fifth consecutive trading day after declining by 2.37 percent, or 142.32 points, to 5,860.94 points.

All Shares followed with a 1.85 percent, or 65.18 points, contraction to 3,467.83 points.

Most of the sectoral indices also ended the trade in the red, led by the Financials counter with a drop of 4.29 percent.

It was trailed by Holding Firms, 2.39 percent; Services, 2.21 percent; Property, 1.60 percent; and Industrial, 1.03 percent.

Only the Industrial counter gained during the day after it jumped by 4.21 percent.

Volume totaled 3.1 billion shares amounting to PHP3.94 billion.

Losers led gainers at 123 to 72, while 48 shares were unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales, said investors decided to stay on the sidelines due partly to the scheduled 5th SONA of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday, as well as updates on the plans for another stimulus program in the US.

“The weaker macro activities worldwide also prompted fear of a slowdown in economic growth following the containment of the second wave,” Limlingan said.

He cited reports that Beijing directed the closure of the US Consulate in Chendu in response to the US government’s decision to order closure of China’s Consulate in Houston earlier.

Limlingan also cited reports regarding the arrest of Chinese researcher, Juan Tang, who has been hiding in China’s Consulate in San Francisco.

Reports said the researcher lied about her People’s Liberation Army ties in her visa application. (PNA)

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