Peso firms up, local shares slide

By Joann Villanueva

April 15, 2019, 8:01 pm

MANILA -- The Philippine peso ended stronger against the US dollar while the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished in the red as the abbreviated trading week kicked off to a start on Monday.

The peso improved to 51.64 from last Friday’s 51.765.

BPI Research, in a report issued after the day’s trading, attributed the local currency’s strengthening to the “tight peso liquidity ahead of the long holiday.”

Trading is only until Wednesday this week, as Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are regular public holidays in the country.

For the day, the peso opened on an appreciated level of 51.76 compared to its 52.05 opening Friday last week.

It traded between 51.76 and 51.63, bringing the day’s average to 51.679.

Volume reached USD581 million, lower than the USD998.4 million in the previous session.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 51.50 and 51.80 Tuesday.

On the other hand, PSEi shed 1.18 percent, or 92.84 points, to 7,787.98 points.

“Investors avoided Philippine shares today as the Holy Week begins and instead focused on other regions,” Regina Capital Managing Director Luis Limlingan said.

He said investors trained their focus on merger and acquisition (M&A) news from the US, as well as positive bank earnings report and the new streaming service by Disney.

“European markets extend their push higher for a third day as investors continue to remain positive post the Brexit extension and ongoing hopes of a trade resolution between the US and China,” he added.

The negative close of the main equities gauge for the day was tracked by all the other counters, with All Shares down by the 0.95 percent, or 46.00 points, to 4,817.15 points.

Holding Firms registered the highest drop with 2.17 points and was followed by Services, 1.15 percent; Industrial, 1.07 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.99 percent; Financials, 0.35 percent; and Property, 0.05 percent.

Volume reached 1.18 billion shares amounting to PHP7.9 billion.

Losers led gainers at 107 to 87 while 47 shares were unchanged. (PNA)