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Peso still firm vs. USD, PSEi slips anew

Peso still firm vs. USD, PSEi slips anew

MANILA — The Philippine peso remained firm against the greenback on Friday despite risk aversion as a result of global growth issues and the latest cut in the Federal Reserve’s key rates. However, the Philippines’ main equities index ended negative for the fourth consecutive day.

The local currency improved and ended the trade at 51.96 from 52.18 on Thursday, which BPI Research pointed to dollar weakness.

“The peso strengthened anew as the dollar weakened across the board on mixed trade signals, positive Brexit headline and BoJ’s (Bank of Japan) move to address lower interest rates,” it said.

Bank of Japan left the short-term interest rate at -0.1 percent and the long-term rates at about zero percent.

In a statement, the BoJ Policy Board said “it is necessary to pay closer attention to the possibility that the momentum toward achieving the price stability target will be lost.”

Meanwhile, the British government said the no-deal exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU) will take effect on October 1.

With these factors, the peso opened the day at 52.26, sideways from the previous day’s 52.31, trading between 51.96 and 52.26, and resulting in an average of 52.142.

Volume reached USD1.14 billion, up from the previous session’s USD1.11 billion.

The currency pair is projected to trade between a range of 51.90 and 52.15 on Monday.

On the other hand, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished the week at 7,871.11 points, down by 0.51 percent or 40.21 points.

All Shares contracted by 0.22 percent, or 10.61 points, to 4,772.35 points.

Property posted the highest drop among the sectors with 1.82 percent and was followed by Financials, 0.75 percent; Industrial, 0.38 percent; and Mining and Oil, 0.21 percent.

On the other hand, Holding Firms rose by 0.28 percent and Services, 0.20 percent.

Volume reached 2.69 billion shares amounting to PHP10.2 billion.

Losers continued to surpass gainers at 94 to 91 while 62 shares were unchanged. (PNA)