PSEi recovers, PHP stays firm vs. USD on export rise

MANILA-- The Philippines' main stocks index recovered and ended the week with gains while the peso stayed firm as investors took note of rise in the country's exports in April 2017.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.40 percent, or 31.61 points, to 7,990.24 points, which a trader partly attributed to the report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) about the 12.1 percent year-on-year increase of exports against the 3.4 percent decline in April 2016.

The rally was in line with those of its counterparts in the region, which also due to lack of surprise from the statement of former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chief James Comey before the US Senate.

A trader said the decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) to maintain its key rates, lower inflation forecast from 1.7 percent to 1.5 percent for this year and hike growth forecast to 1.9 percent for the year from 1.8 percent were some other factors that buoyed the local equities market.

With these factors, All Shares also finished with gains after it rose 0.25 percent, or 11.73 points, to 4,749.13 points.

Most of the sectors also ended the week with increases namely Holding Firms, 0.51 percent; Services, 0.46 percent; Property, 0.45 percent; and Financials, 0.04 percent.

On the other hand, Mining and Oil and Industrial fell 0.16 percent and 0.04 percent, respectively.

A total of 1.5 billion shares amounting to Php8.1 billion changed hands.

Gainers led losers at 96 to 85 while 54 shares were unchanged.

The local currency finished the week's trade at 49.50 from Thursday's 49.49 and another trader pointed this to upbeat investors' sentiment following the ECB decisions, Comey's statement, and the rise of Philippine exports last April.

It opened the day at 49.54, little changed from the 49.58 a day ago.

It surged to as much as 49.44 and moved to 49.55 mid-trade, resulting an average of 49.49.

Volume for the day reached USD609.2 million, higher than the USD374.7 million a day ago.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 49.60 and 49.70 next week.

Source: Philippines News Agency