PSEi, PHP stay firm after Trump’s speech

MANILA- Philippine stocks and the local currency continue to remain firm despite better market appreciation of US President Donald Trump's first State of Union Address this week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index PSEi) gained 0.90 percent, or 64.24 points, to 7,234.94 points, while the Philippine peso finished Thursday at 50.31 from 50.28 in the previous day, just shedding only three centavos against the dollar.

A trader said local equities continued to track the region but since domestic fundamentals remained strong there was a positive turnout Thursday.

All Shares also went up 0.73 percent, or 31.70 points, to 4,378.87 points.

Most of the sectors tracked the main index with Financials leading the pack with an increase of 1.20 percent.

It was followed by Holding Firms, 0.98 percent; Services, 0.97 percent; Industrial, 0.55 percent; and Property, 0.54 percent.

Only the Mining and Oil ended the day on the red with a 0.01 percent contraction.

Volume reached 4.4 billion shares amounting to Php 5.6 billion.

Gainers led losers at 111 to 74 while 53 shares were unchanged.

For the day, the peso opened little changed at 50.30 from 50.32 a day ago.

It traded between 50.34 and 50.27, bringing the day's average to 50.30.

Volume of trade amounted to USD409 million, lower than the USD429.8 million in the previous session.

A trader said markets took note of the "more presidential stance" of Trump during this speech, which is an improvement from his past speeches.

Another major factor during the day's trade was the hawkish statement of Federal Reserve officials this week, ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee FOMC) meeting on March 14-15.

The trader said probability rate of a Fed rate hike had risen to around 80 percent Thursday from about 40 percent last week.

Unless something really big happened before the FOMC meets there is a big chance that the Fed would deliver, the trader said.

The trader noted that the Fed was expected to hike key rates in June 2016 but this did not materialize due to concerns on the Brexit, wherein which UK voters gave the go signal through a referendum last in June last year.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.20 and 40.50 Friday.

Source: Philippines News Agency