Peso ends almost flat, stocks decline

MANILA — The Philippine peso ended Wednesday little changed against the US dollar but the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) reversed to negative territory as trade tensions continue to worry the markets.

The local currency ended the day at 51.79 from 51.77 a day ago, which BPI Research pointed to trade tensions between the US and China.

Reports said US threatened to limit portfolio investments to China, and imposed visa ban on Chinese officials who are linked to mass detentions of Muslim minorities.

China indicated a move to retaliate thus, shadowing earlier optimism on the trade meeting between officials of the US and China later this week.

The peso opened the day sideways at 51.9 compared to its 51.87 start Tuesday.

It traded between 51.92 and 51.77, resulting in an average of 51.828.

Volume reached USD1.23 billion, higher than the USD1.13 billion in the previous session.

On the other hand, the main equities index reversed a day after recovering and lost 0.97 percent, or 75.47 points, to 7,681.25 points.

All the other counters also ended the day in the red, with All Shares down by 0.69 percent, or 32.40 points, to 4,655.99 points.

Holding Firms posted the highest drop at 1.31 percent, and was trailed by the Services, 0.96 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.92 percent; Industrial, 0.68 percent; Financials, 0.65 percent; and Property, 0.61 percent.

Volume reached 321.84 million shares amounting to PHP4.8 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 114 to 60, while 58 shares were unchanged. Joann Villanueva/PNA- northboundasia.com