PSEi recovers, peso sideways vs. USD

MANILA – Philippines share prices recovered Monday while the local currency finished little changed against the greenback as investors stayed at the sidelines ahead of the speeches of top Federal Reserve officials this week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.78 percent, or 61.53 points, to 7,943.75 points, which a trader pointed to bargain-hunting even after the seesaw of the main index in recent sessions.

Other indices tracked the main index, with All Shares rising 0.60 percent, or 28.06 points, to 4,723.21 points.

The sectors were led by the Holding Firms, which increased by 1.23 percent, and followed by the Industrial with 1.05 percent.

Property went up 0.76 percent, Financials by 0.22 percent, Services by 0.08 percent, and Mining and Oil, 0.04 percent.

Volume for the day totaled to 1.32 billion shares amounting to P7.1 billion.

Losers led gainers at 102 to 91 while 49 stocks were unchanged.

Meanwhile, the local currency finished the week’s first trading day at 49.91, almost unchanged from the 49.90 Friday last week.

Another trader said investors took on a wait-and-see stance as Fed officials had several speeches scheduled this week.

Among the Fed officials who have speaking engagements this week are New York Fed President William Dudley, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fisher.

The trader said markets awaited what these officials were going to say.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen earlier hinted of more rate hikes for this year even after the total of 75 basis points hike so far, at 25 basis points, in December last year and in March and June this year.

The trader, however, said markets are not that positive for additional rate hikes and expect the next one in March 2018.

The latest rate increase that market eye is in December this year but the trader said latest Fed futures for the Dec. 12-13, 2017 meeting was below 50 percent at 41 percent.

The trader attributed this to recent economic reports from the US such as the housing market data last May, which contracted by 5.5 percent against expectations of 4.1 percent, and the drop of consumer sentiment to 94.5 percent last May from the projection of 97 percent.

With these, the peso opened at 49.85 from 49.80 in the previous session.

It traded between 49.92 and 49.80, resulting in an average of 49.85.

Volume for the day reached USD572.6 million, lower than the previous session’s USD898.8 million.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 49.80 and 50.00 Tuesday. Joann Santiago/