PSEi up again, PHP firm vs. USD

MANILA-- Philippines main stock index on Friday posted second consecutive day of improvement while the peso finished the week with little changed ahead of the French elections this weekend.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ticked-up 0.19 percent, or 14.71 points, to 7,578.16 points.

A trader said investors remain cautious on the outcome of the France polls, due in part to the close fight between French presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron.

All Shares tracked the main stock by rising 0.24 percent, or 10.89 points, to 4,532.10 points.

It was a balanced mix among the sectors with Services, Property, and Holding Firms, posting hikes of 0.66 percent, 0.50 percent and 0.27 percent, respectively.

Financial led those that contracted, exhibiting 0.48 percent fall, followed by Industrial, 0.09 percent; and Mining and Oil, 0.06 percent.

Total volume reached 1.7 billion shares amounting to Php 32.1 billion.

Gainers led losers at 107 to 89 while 44 shares were unchanged.

The peso closed at 49.76 from Thursday's 49.83, which another trader attributed to hints by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the Trump administration's tax reform package would soon be unveiled.

Wait-and-see stance on France's presidential elections is another factor on Friday's currency trading, with investors protecting their dollar holdings, the trader said.

This caused the local currency to slide to 49.82 from Thursday's 49.80 start.

It traded between 49.85 and 49.73 resulting in an average of 49.78.

Volume of trade reached USD384.6 million, lower than the USD582.3 million a day ago.

The currency pair is projected to trade between 49.60 and 49.90 next week.

Source: Philippines News Agency