Peso, stocks sustain gains

Both the Philippine peso and the main stocks index ended on positive territories on Thursday despite uncertainties on the possible economic impact of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19).

The local currency ended the day sideways at 50.5 against the US dollar from its 50.57 close Wednesday.

BPI Research attributed the day's gain to investors' optimism on the upgrade by Fitch Ratings of its rating outlook on Philippines' 'BBB' rating from stable to positive due to continued improvement of macroeconomic policies and fundamentals.

The peso started the day little changed at 50.57 from 50.54 a day ago.

The average rate stood at 50.504 after the unit traded between 50.59 and 50.43.

The volume of trade rose to USD1.11 billion from the previous session's USD813.67 million.

The peso is seen to range between 50.40 and 50.70 against the greenback on Friday.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved by 0.27 percent, or 20.02 points, to 7,403.12 points.

All Shares rose by 0.04 percent, or 1.78 points, to 4,357.24 points.

However, most of the sectoral indices ended in the red, led by the property with 0.92 percent.

It was trailed by the mining and oil indices, 0.42 percent; industrial, 0.35 percent; and services, 0.15 percent.

On the other hand, holding firms increased by 0.87 percent and financials, 0.47 percent.

Local shares rose towards closing as investors tried to shake off concerns over how the coronavirus would impact corporate profits and the global economy, Regina Capital Managing Director Luis Limlingan said.

He said investors also noted Federal Reserve Jerome Powell's statement during the second day of testimony before the US Congress' Senate Banking Committee, wherein he reiterated the outlook that the labor force can sustain its rise and that policy stance remains accommodative.

Source: Philippines News Agency