Risk-off sentiment downs PHP, PSEi Monday

MANILA- The Philippine peso and the main stocks index dipped Monday on geo-political concerns in Syria and the strain between the US and North Korea.

The local currency ended the week's first trading day at 49.54, 11 centavos weaker than the 49.43 finish Wednesday last week.

Last week's trading was shortened due to the observance of the Holy Week.

A trader partly pointed the peso's drop to over-done selling last week ahead of the long weekend.

But most of it was due to the bombings in Syria and the rising tension between the US and North Korea, the trader said.

Net foreign selling in the stocks market also directly affected the peso, the trader said.

Because the reasons for the risk-off sentiment is on-going, it (peso weakness) may last for the week but it shouldn't drive the peso for the whole week because there are other data releases coming out from the US and Europe, the trader said.

Among the economic data to be released in the US this week include the housing and industrial production while inflation and manufacturing figures are set to be released in the European Union.

The trader said the better-than-expected growth of the Chinese economy in the first quarter of 2017 at 6.9 percent, which was higher than the previous quarter's 6.8 percent output and the full-year target of 6.5 percent, was a plus for the region since it limited the strength of the greenback.

But the dollar still reigned because investors took on the safe haven, the trader said.

The peso opened the day better at 49.45 from the previous session's 49.66.

It averaged at 49.53 after trading between 49.60 and 49.45.

A total of USD346.3 million changed hands, more than half decline from the USD788 million at the end of last week's trading.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 49.50 and 49.70 Tuesday.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended Monday at 7,588.53 points, down 0.54 percent or 41.11 points.

All the other counters also finished on the red, with the All Shares declining by 0.49 percent or 22.19 points to 4,530.50 points.

The sectors were led by the Services, which fell 0.98 percent followed by the Property, 0.78 percent; Industrial, 0.69 percent; Financials, 0.57 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.39 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.16 percent.

Volume of trade reached 707.87 million shares amounting to Php4.4 billion.

Decliners led losers at 106 to 74 while 50 stocks were unchanged.

Source: Philippines News Agency