MANILA- - The Philippines’ main stocks index rose to another record-high Friday while the peso finished flat against the dollar on strong demand for the greenback and higher-than-expected rise of remittances.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose to 8,180.85 points, or by 0.44 percent or 35.94 points. Since the start of the year, the main stocks gauge has risen by 19.6 percent.

Philippine Stocks Exchange (PSE) President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon, in a statement, the investors’ risk-on sentiment was due to “favorable outlook of analysts on the overall market.”

“This optimism was again validated with the market closing today at yet another record high and with trading value exceeding PHP11 billion.  We remain hopeful that our market levels and trading volumes continue to be robust,” he said.

Most of the other indices tracked the main index, with the broader All Shares up 0.42 percent, or 20.42 points, to 4,836.33 points.

The sectors were led by the Property, which inched up by 1.30 percent, and followed by the Mining and Oil, 1.28 percent.

Services ticked-up 0.73 percent, Industrial, 0.67 percent, and Holding Firms, 0.09 percent.

Only the Financials index finished on the red after it fell 0.45 percent.

Volume for the day totaled to 1.18 billion shares amounting to PHP11.18 billion.

Losers led gainers at 98 to 101 while 48 stocks were unchanged.

Peso finished the week’s trade at 51.165, same as the previous day’s level.

A trader said the greenback was supported by the end-of-the-month dollar demand by companies.

However, strong expansion of inflows from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) last July, with growth of cash remittances up by 7.1 percent year-on-year, buoyed the local currency.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday reported that cash remittances last July reached USD2.283 billion, up from year-ago’s USD2.131 billion.

To date, cash remittances rose five percent to USD16.095 billion from year-ago’s USD15.32 billion .

The trader said some analysts have projected around five percent growth for cash remittances.

Peso opened the day’s trade at 51.25, weaker than the 51.11 a day ago.

It traded between 51.29 and 51.15, bringing the day’s average to 51.24.

Volume for the day reached USD638.6 million, up from the USD633.55 million.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 51.10 and 51.40 next week. (PNA)