Peso, stocks end higher

MANILA — The Philippine peso ended Monday better against the US dollar, tracking the Chinese yuan, but the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) barely rose as investors took a wait-and-see stance.

The local currency ended the day at 51.105 from 51.295 Friday.

BPI Research said the local unit trailed the yuan “after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) fixed the daily midpoint at its strongest in five weeks.”

After opening at 51.23, better than the 51.36 start in the previous session, the local currency traded between 51.24 and 51.095.

The average level for the day improved at 51.177 from 51.344 last Friday.

Volume totaled to USD1.10 billion, higher than the previous trading’s USD1.04 billion.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 51.00 and 51.25 on Tuesday.

Relatively, the main equities index gained 0.08 percent, or 5.90 points, to 7,891.13 points.

But All Shares contracted by 0.03 percent, or 1.29 points, to 4,753.75 points.

Half of the sectors gained, led by Financials which rose 0.85 percent. Both the Industrial and Services increased by 0.44 percent.

The Property index declined by 0.78 percent and was trailed by the Mining and Oil, 0.40 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.07 percent.

Volume reached 403.79 million shares amounting to PHP3.35 billion.

Losers led gainers at 98 to 86, while 59 shares were unchanged.

BPI Research said investors decided to stay at the sidelines to “await fresh leads onshore.”

One of the major economic reports being closely watched is the inflation report, with the October 2019 figure to be released by November 5.

Economists forecast inflation to bottom either last September or this month since inflation peaked on such months in 2018 at 6.7 percent.

Some economists project additional cuts in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) key policy rates in the remaining months of the year after the 75 basis cuts to date if inflation decelerates further.

Others see further cuts in banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) on top of the total of 300 basis points announced so far. Joann Villanueva /PNA- northboundasia.com