MANILA- Bargain-hunting lifted the Philippines' main stocks index Tuesday and the peso strengthened a day after President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.11 percent, or 5.34 points, to 7,971.72 points, which a trader said was also due to investors' optimism on future domestic economic growth given the government's focus to put up more major infrastructure projects.
The trader said the main stock gauge countered the declines of its counterparts overseas on improved sentiment on the economy.
However, the other indices posted mixed results because of apprehensions on the results of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on July 25-26.
The trader said market consensus was for an unchanged key rates after this week's FOMC meeting.
With these factors, the broader All Shares shed 0.11 percent, or 5.34 points, to 4,753.33 points.
Half of the sectors also finished on the red namely Financials, 0.73 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.61 percent; and Industrial, 0.36 percent.
Property, Holding Firms, and Services, meanwhile, increased by 0.73 percent, 0.09 percent, and 0.06 percent, respectively.
Volume for the day totaled to 1.74 billion shares amounting to PHP6.2 billion.
Losers led gainers at 142 to 65 while 46 shares were unchanged.
The positive sentiment benefited the local currency, which rose PHP0.19 and finished at 50.54 to a dollar against Monday's 50.735 finish.
A trader said market players are mostly expecting the Fed to announce unchanged rates this week but noted that investors will be watching for any change on the tone of the Fed's statement.
The peso's strong close did not show at the start of the day when the peso opened at 50.80 from the previous session's 50.69 start.
Its closing level was the unit's strongest for the day while weakest was 50.84, resulting to an average of 50.69.
Volume surged to USD738.75 million from the previous day's USD284.9 million.
The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.50 and 50.70 Wednesday.
Source: Philippine News Agency