Local shares slide, Peso stays put vs. USD

By Joann Villanueva

July 19, 2018, 8:17 pm

MANILA -- Profit-taking resulted in the negative close of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) Thursday but the peso ended sideways although with a depreciation bias in line with the performance of other currencies in Asia.

PSEi shed 0.85 percent, or 63.50 points to 7,387.87 points, which a trader said was due to investors’ decision to take profits following the recent run-up of the main index.

The trader said investors also withdrew some placements in the local equities after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell echoed their earlier outlook for the sustained improvement of the US economy.

The main index’ slide was followed by the broader All Shares after it declined by 0.67 percent or 30.07 points, to 4,462.44 points.

Most of the other indices also mirrored the PSEi led by the Holding Firms, which dropped 1.50 percent. It was followed by the Mining and Oil, 0.76 percent: Property, 0.62 percent; Financials, 0.46 percent; and Industrial, 0.21 percent.

Only the Services finished the day with improvement after it rose 0.03 percent.

Volume for the day reached 672.72 million shares amounting to PHP3.7 billion.

Losers led gainers at 117 to 72 while 46 stocks were unchanged.

The peso ended the day at 53.53, little changed from the 53.49 close in the previous day.

Another trader said depreciation of the Chinese yuan affected regional currencies during the day.

Increase of the Philippines’ balance of payment (BOP) deficit, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday reported to have reached USD3.3 billion as of the first half of 2018, is another negative factor for the peso during the day, the trader said.

Rise of the country’s trade deficit, as a result of increasing importation to meet robust domestic demand, is a major factor why foreign investors are pulling out some of their funds from the domestic financial markets, the trader explained.

For the day, the local unit opened at 53.475, little moved from the previous session’s 53.44 start.

It ranged between 53.54 and 53.47resulting to an average of 53.52.

Volume totaled to USD334.7 million, down from day-ago’s USD423.55 million.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 53.30 and 53.50 Friday. (PNA)