Peso strengthens to 48-level, stocks rise anew

Peso strengthens to 48-level, stocks rise anew

MANILA – The peso closed at its more than three-year high to the 48-level against the US dollar Tuesday while the main equities index (PSEi) rose anew.

The local currency ended the day at 48.92 against the greenback, the strongest since its 48.66 close on November 10, 2016.

It opened the day at 49.08, sideways from its 49.05 start in the previous session.

It traded between 49.08 and 48.92, bringing the day’s average to 48.97.

Volume totaled to USD743.4 million, higher than the USD409.3 million a day ago.

“PHP (the Philippine peso) continues to strengthen as the current account (CA) moves back into surplus despite a projected 10-15 percent drop off in OF (overseas Filipino) remittances,” ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa said, referring to the impact of the pandemic on job opportunities for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

He said the country’s current account “moved back into positive territory as imports imploded due in large part to the substantial drop off in economic activity, and capital formation in particular.”

“With economic momentum slowing considerably while the virus spreads, we may not foresee a quick return to pre-pandemic demand for imports. Thus, PHP may retain its appreciation bias with the CA remaining in surplus,” he added.

Mapa projects the local unit to go back to the 49-level against the US dollar by weekend ahead of the release of US’ retail sales data.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained by 0.39 percent, or 23.02 points, to 5,953.94 points.

All Shares rose by 0.68 percent, or 23.92 points, to 3,537.29 points.

Most of the sectoral gauges also finished the day up, led by Services, which rose 1.53 percent.

The Holding Firms counter increased by 0.63 percent, Property by 0.28 percent, and Mining and Oil by 0.03 percent.

Financials fell by 0.50 percent and Industrial by 0.04 percent.

Volume totaled to 5.31 billion shares amounting to PHP5.07 billion.

Gainers led losers at 115 to 84, while 38 shares were unchanged. (PNA)

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