stocks index dips as peso remains afloat vs. greenback

stocks index dips as peso remains afloat vs. greenback

MANILA – The Philippines’ main equities index shed Thursday partly on the rising coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Asia while the peso remains firm against the US dollar.

After recovering Wednesday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 0.77 percent, or 48.07 points, to 6,197.64 points.

All Shares followed with a drop of 0.33 percent, or 12.59 points, to 3,840.31 points.

Most of the sectoral indexes tracked the main gauge, with Holding Firms posting the highest decline at 1.33 percent.

Services followed with a drop of 0.28 percent as well as Financials, 0.27 percent; Property, 0.21 percent; and Industrial, 0.13 percent.

Only the Mining and Oil index gained during the day after it rose by 1.59 percent.

Volume totaled 2.97 billion shares amounting to PHP5.52 billion.

Gainers led losers at 101 to 90 while 50 shares were unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, attributed the PSEI’s performance on Thursday to “renewed demand concerns as coronavirus cases in Asia rise and on fears rising inflation might lead the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.”

He said a hike in the Fed rates, from the current record-low of between zero to 0.25 percent, “could limit economic growth.”

Citing minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting last April, Limlingan said US monetary officials are open to adjustments in the Fed’s asset purchases of the world’s largest economy continue to post improvements.

He also cited developments on movement restrictions in Europe, with restaurants in France now allowed to operate but only with outdoor dining while retail shops and entertainment venues allowed to open but with reduced capacity.

“It’s the first significant reopening step for the country after what has been one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns,” he added.

On the other hand, the peso ended the day sideways against the US dollar at 47.94 from 47.875 a day ago.

It opened the day at 47.855 and traded between 47.98 and 47.845. The average level for the day stood at 47.918.

The volume of trade reached USD979.8 million, higher than the USD947.25 million on Wednesday. Joann Villanueva / PNA –