PH stocks index recovers, peso ends sideways vs. USD

PH stocks index recovers, peso ends sideways vs. USD

MANILA – The Philippines’ main equities index ended its three-day slide Friday as the peso ended trade sideways, partly on news of lower weekly jobless claims in the US before the elections.

After days of being battered by risk-off sentiments ahead of the November 3 presidential polls in the US and the rising coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the US and Europe, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) regained 1.19 percent, or 74.61 points, to 6,324.00 points.

This was the theme of most of the indexes, with All Shares rising by 0.71 percent, or 26.49 points, to 3,779.57 points.

Mining and Oil led the sectors after jumping 2.12 percent, followed by Property, 2.09 percent; Holding Firms, 1.46 percent; Industrial, 0.52 percent; and Financials, 0.25 percent.

Only the Services index finished the week in the red after falling 0.24 percent.

Volume totaled 2.38 billion shares amounting to PHP7.29 billion.

Gainers led losers at 135 to 81 while 37 shares were unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales, traced this improvement partly to the seven-month low initial jobless claims in the US during the week ending October 24 at 751,000, down by 40,000 from the previous week.

Limlingan also cited the new lockdown measures that France, Sweden, and Greece plan to implement to address the second wave of Covid-19 infections, as well as the updates on the development of a possible Covid-19 vaccine.

Relatively, the European Central Bank on Thursday kept its interest rates on main refinancing operations unchanged at zero percent; the marginal lending rate at 0.25 percent, and the deposit facility rate at -0.50 percent.

Meanwhile, the peso ended the day at 48.40 against the US dollar, weaker than its 48.39 close a day ago.

It opened the day sideways at 48.37 compared to 48.43 on Thursday, trading between 48.43 and 48.37 for an average of 48.396.

Volume totaled USD817.4 million, higher than the previous day’s USD524.15 million.

Union Bank of the Philippines (Unionbank) chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion has forecast the peso to trade between 48.30 and 48.60 next week.

Factors that will affect sentiments next week include the release of the October 2020 inflation rate, trade data, the US polls, and Covid-19 updates.

“Lacking corporate foreign exchange demand during the first week of the new month could mitigate upside Philippine peso pressures triggered by a backdrop of sustained global risk-off,” Asuncion said. Joann Villanueva /PNA –