Peso stays firm against US dollar, stock index falls

MANILA – The Philippine peso ended the week little changed against the United States (US) dollar but the main equities index lost again on investors’ worries on the US-China trade discussions.

The local currency ended the trade at 50.65 from 50.68 finish a day ago, which BPI Research partly attributed to the faster growth of remittances from overseas Filipino workers last September.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that cash remittances rose by 6.3 percent year-on-year in the ninth month this year to $2.379 billion while the end-September growth is at 4.2 percent.

Total remittances last September also increased by 6.3 percent year-on-year while year-to-date expansion is 3.9 percent.

Renewed trade hopes also boosted the local unit during the day, BPI Research said.

The local currency opened the day at 50.6, better than its 50.93 start in the previous session.

It traded between 50.67 and 50.55, resulting in an average of 50.592.

Volume reached $1.12 billion, lower than the $1.17 billion Thursday.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.50 and 50.80 on Monday.

On the other hand, BPI Research said the Philippine Stock Exchange index registered lower decline Friday at 0.009 percent or 0.75 points, to 7,932.96 points than in recent days due to the remittances report and the positive trade comments.

This, after news reports quoted White House adviser Larry Kudlow as saying US and China are near in signing the “phase one” of a trade deal.

However, risk-off sentiment remained high, thus, the negative close of most of the counters.

All Shares tracked the main gauge after it gave up 0.12 percent, or 5.92 points, to 4,751.81 points.

Most of the sectors followed, led by the Mining and Oil, which dropped by 1.88 percent, along with Property, 0.45 percent; Industrial, 0.38 percent; Holding Firms, 0.17 percent; and Services, 0.03 percent.

Only the Financials finished the week with gains after rising by 0.66 percent.

Volume was thin at 760.224 million shares amounting to P6.85 billion.

Losers continue to surpass gainers at 109 to 61 while 63 shares were unchanged. (PNA)


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