Trading weeks ends with local stocks up, peso retreats

MANILA US President Donald Trump's optimism about the outcome of the US-China trade talks made the news, and the positivity appears to have spilled into the Philippine equities market, even though the peso succumbed to correction.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended the week at 8,144.16 points, up 1.71 percent or 136.68 points.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital managing director, said news that Trump wanted a large deal to end the trade tension allowed the main index to rise.

Citing reports, he said Trump expressed optimism a China trade agreement can be reached by March 1.

Meanwhile, BPI Global Markets Research attributed the PSEi's strength on Friday to the inflation forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP).

The BSP forecasts the January 2019 inflation to range between 4.3 and 5.1, with the upside risks due to impact of higher global oil prices and prices of fish on account of the cold weather.

These risks, on the other hand, are seen to be countered by the drop in rice prices.

With these factors, the All Shares improved by 1.65 percent, or 79.66 points, to 4,909.51 points.

Property led the sectors with a jump of 2.15 percent and was trailed by the Holding Firms, 1.72 percent; Financials, 1.60 percent; Services, 1.51 percent; Industrial, 1.34 percent; and Mining and Oil, 0.55 percent.

Volume reached 2.42 billion shares amounting to PHP8.97 billion.

Gainers led losers at 171 to 49 while 36 shares were unchanged.

On the other hand, the peso weakened to 52.21 from 52.12 a day ago.

BPI said the local currency's performance was in line with its counterparts in Asia because of a region-wide market correction.

An additional reason for the depreciation is the gloom generated by China's weak economic data as reflected in the Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI), which fell from 49.7 to 48.3 this month. The market expected a 49.6 index.

An index above 50 indicates growth while a level below this indicates contraction.

For the day, the peso opened the day at 52.13 from 52.25 Thursday.

It traded between 52.31 and 52.1, bringing the day's average to 52.235.

Volume reached USD869.3 million, lower than the USD1.1 billion Thursday.

Source: Philippines News Agency