Stocks, peso rise on possible withdrawal of HK’s extradition bill

MANILA – Reports about the plan to withdraw Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill lifted investors’ sentiment and allowed the Philippine Stock Exchange index and the peso to recover on Wednesday.

After two days of decline, the main equities index gained 0.46 percent, or 36.15 points, to 7,840.86 points.

“Philippine shares climbed after reports came out…that (Hong Kong’s chief executive) Carrie Lim would be withdrawing the extradition bill,” Regina Capital managing director Luis Limlingan said.

The bill, which would allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China, received negative feedbacks from Hong Kong people and has resulted more than 10 weeks of protests, which in recent weeks has turned violent.

Another factor that influenced sentiments is the scheduled release of Philippines’ inflation rate for August, which is widely projected to fall below two percent.

Limlingan forecasts last month’s inflation to be at 1.7 percent, lower than the 2.4 percent last July.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projects rate of price increases in the eighth month this year to stay within 1.3 to 2.1 percent.

With these developments, most of the counters in the local bourse tracked the main gauge.

All Shares rose by 0.28 percent, or 13.16 points, to 4,753.77 points.

Mining and Oil posted the highest increase among the sectors with 3.23 percent, followed by Holding Firms, 1.38 percent; Financials, 0.57 percent; and Property, 0.27 percent.

On the other hand, the Services and Industrial declined by 1.53 percent and 0.39 percent, respectively.

Volume reached 1.15 billion shares amounting to P6.6 billion.

Losers surpassed gainers at 102 to 100, while 47 shares were unchanged.

Also, the peso posted a big jump to 51.935 to a US dollar from 52.31 close a day ago, which a trader pointed to the improvement of sentiments.

It opened the day at 52.25 little changed compared to its 52.23 start in the previous day.

It strengthened to as much as 51.92 but also touched 52.93 mid-trade, bringing the day’s average to 52.131.

Volume reached USD1.28 billion, lower than the nearly USD1.34 billion Tuesday.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 51.90 and 52.10 Thursday. (PNA)

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