MANILA – The Philippine peso ended the week sideways against the US dollar on positive news both here and abroad but the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished in the red.
The local currency finished the trade on Friday at 48.305 from 48.355 the previous day, which Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort described as the strongest since Oct. 24, 2016, when it ended the trade at 48.19.
Ricafort attributed the peso’s strength partly to the assurance made by President Rodrigo Duterte that the proposed PHP4.5-trillion national budget for next year would be passed on time, despite the suspension of sessions in the House of Representatives.
“(The) peso (is) also stronger after softer import data, among three-year lows, that still suggest less demand for US dollars to pay for imports. Continued narrower trade deficit data from year-ago levels also supported the recent appreciating trend of the peso,” he said.
Other factors include less demand for the dollar as safe-haven assets, improvement in US President Donald Trump’s health after testing positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), and fewer uncertainties in the US polls as Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden continues to advance in surveys.
Next week, the currency pair is seen to trade between 48.00 and 48.25, with optimism for peso appreciation given the seasonal strengthening during the holidays.
Meanwhile, the main equities index shed 0.19 percent, or 11.05 points, to 5,931.61 points.
However, All Shares was able to close the week’s trade up by 0.006 percent, or 0.20 points, to 3,563.85 points.
Half of the sectoral indices rose while the other half declined.
Mining and Oil rose by 4.68 percent, Services by 0.75 percent, and Holding Firms by 0.12 percent.
On the other hand, Property slipped by 1.23 percent, Industrial by 0.07 percent, and Financials by 0.05 percent.
Volume totaled 9.16 billion shares amounting to PHP5.63 billion.
Gainers led losers 119 to 76 while 43 shares were unchanged. (PNA)