Peso slightly down ahead of Yellen’s report while PSEi closes higher

MANILA- The Philippine stocks market closed higher for the second consecutive day on Wednesday after investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's semi-annual monetary policy report before the US Congress later in the day.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 1.02 percent, or 80.23 points, to 7,938.37 points.

All the other counters followed, with the broader All Shares rising 0.86 percent, or 40.52 points, to 4,754.67 points.

Property shares led the sectors with an increase of 2.14 percent followed by Holding Firms, 0.94 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.84 percent; Industrial, 0.75 percent; Services, 0.48 percent; and Financials, 0.07 percent.

Volume reached 1.59 billion shares amounting to PHP9.4 billion.

Gainers led losers at 125 to 85 while 42 stocks were unchanged.

In another development, the Philippine peso finished the day at 50.55, almost unchanged from the 50.53 close in the previous day.

A trader said all eyes were on Yellen's statement before lawmakers but noted that expectations were for more hawkish comments, which were heard from several Fed officials in the past weeks.

The trader said a December 2017 hike in the Fed rates remain a big expectation among market players but noted Yellen's earlier statement that materialization of this still depends on incoming economic reports.

The peso opened the day with big improvement at 50.47 from 50.75 Tuesday.

It traded between a wide range of 50.45 and 50.65, resulting to an average of 50.57.

Volume of the day amounted to USD595.7 million, lower than the USD629.1 million in the previous session.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.40 and 50.70 Thursday.

Source: Philippines News Agency