Local stocks rise anew, peso ends flat

MANILA -- Philippine shares ended the abbreviated trading week generally higher while the peso finished flat against the greenback.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose for the second day in row and ended the trade at 7,835.15 points, up 0.11 percent or 8.69 points.

BPI Research, in a report, traced this to the higher-than-expected growth of the Chinese economy in the first quarter of 2019.

Reports said growth of the world’s second largest economy in the first three months this year surpassed expectations of 6.3 percent, expanding slightly higher at 6.4 percent.

Another factor that boosted the PSEi is the report of surplus in the Philippines’ balance of payment (BOP) last March at USD627 million, which brought the first quarter figure to USD3.8 billion surplus, a reversal from the USD1.2 billion deficit same period in 2018.

The rise of the main gauge was tracked by most of the counters, with the All Shares up by 0.18 percent, or 8.54 points, to 4,836.68 points.

Services led the sectors with a jump of 1.45 percent and was followed by the Financials, 1.42 percent, and Industrial, 0.07 percent.

On the other hand, Mining and Oil fell 0.71 percent, Holding Firms, 0.70 percent; and Property, 0.35 percent.

Volume was thin at 694.4 million shares amounting to PHP5.4 billion.

Gainers led losers at 110 to 73 while 45 shares were unchanged.

On the other hand, the peso ended the three-day workweek little changed at 51.765, which a trader attributed to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) BOP report.

The local unit started the day weak at 51.8 from 51.7 a day ago, which was attributed to investors’ wait-and-see stance ahead of the release of the BOP figure for the first quarter this year.

It improved to 51.74 mid-trade but also touched 51.88, resulting to an average of 51.802.

Volume reached USD994.38 million, higher than the USD810.45 million Tuesday.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 51.60 and 51.90 on Monday.

Trading takes a break on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as these are regular holidays in the country. (PNA)

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