PSEi, peso remain strong

MANILA-- Philippines' main stocks index as well as the peso remained strong Monday amid volatilities in line with investors' wait-and-see stance on several developments such as the eventual hike of the Federal Reserve rates.

The Philippines Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Monday gained 0.62 percent, or 48.60 points, to 7,934.50 points, which a trader said was in line with improvements of other equities market in the region.

It even reached 7,955.01 points mid-trade, and the trader pointed this to generally risk-on sentiment.

The trader said investors remained optimistic, given the positive outlook of most analysts for the Philippine economy's expansion in the near term.

Other counters tracked the rise of the main stocks gauge, with the broader All Shares up 0.36 percent, or 17.19 points, to 4,753.01 points.

Property led the sectors with a 0.90 percent increase followed by Holding Firms, 0.79 percent; and Industrial, 0.46 percent.

Even the Mining and Oil sector managed to post a 0.07 percent uptick amid concerns on some mining firms about the government's warning against erring companies.

Services also ended the day with a slight gain of 0.009 percent.

Volume for the day reached 3.38 billion shares amounting to PHP6.57 billion.

Losers led gainers at 105 to 103 while 51 shares were unchanged.

The peso finished the day at 50.70, little changed against the currency's 50.65 close Friday last week.

Another trader said rebound of growth of remittances from Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs) last May helped buoyed the peso.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday reported the 5.5 percent year-on-year rise of cash remittances last May to USD2.3 billion from year-ago's USD2.19 billion.

This was a reversal from the 5.9 percent contraction in the previous month.

As of end-May this year, cash remittances rose 4.5 percent, same as year-ago's expansion but higher than the central bank's four percent growth target for 2017.

Amid this positive domestic report, the trader said investors continued to await more positive reports that would further show the direction of Fed funds rate, thus, the wide range that the peso traded for the day.

The local unit opened flat for the day at 50.55 and ranged between its opening and closing levels. This brought the day's average to 50.63.

Volume for the day amounted to USD255.95 million, lower than the USD379.45 million at the end of last week.

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

Source: Philippine News Agency