Peso stays firm vs. US dollar as stocks rise anew

Peso stays firm vs. US dollar as stocks rise anew

MANILA – The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained anew Wednesday due to bargain hunting and this benefited the peso.

The main equities index rose by 0.34 percent, or 23.22 points, to 6,942.76 points.

All Shares tracked the main gauge after it rose by 0.16 percent, or 6.84 points, to 4,186.76 points.

However, most of the sectoral indexes ended the day on the red namely Mining and Oil, 0.76 percent; Services, 0.33 percent; Industrial, 0.22 percent; and Property, 0.15 percent.

Meanwhile, Holding Firms rose by 0.73 percent and Financials by 0.69 percent.

Volume totaled 221.53 billion shares amounting to PHP34.09 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 125 to 101 while 40 shares were unchanged.

“Local shares closed higher as investors continued to bargain hunt with regional markets experiencing some weakness,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said.

He also cited the drop in US stocks on Tuesday, spearheaded by tech companies, “as the market pulled back from the previous session’s strong gains.”

“Others are waiting for the results of the OPEC+ meeting where producers are expected to ease supply curbs as economies start to slowly recover from the coronavirus crisis,” she added.

Relatively, the peso stayed firm against the US dollar after closing the day at 48.48 from its 48.565 finish a day ago.

Its closing level is the local unit’s opening level also for the day, which, in turn, is better than the previous session’s 48.58.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the peso closed the day at its strongest in more than a week or since February 19 but this level is among its weakest in four months.

He attributed the peso’s steady performance Wednesday to “the surprise announcement on the arrival of 487,200 AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses tomorrow, March 4.”

He also said the last day of the government’s three-year retail treasury bond (RTB) offering on Thursday “would entail some foreign buyers/investors, thereby could bring in some US dollar inflows soon.”

Other factors that supported the peso during the day included the “downward correction in global oil prices to new 1-week lows” and the continued improvement of the PSEi, he said.

He expects the peso to range between 48.40 and 48.55 on Thursday. (PNA)

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