PSEi ends record-high climb; peso takes a breather

January 25, 2018 - 4:53 AM
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The Philippine Stock Exchange headquarters. BUSINESSWORLD FILE PHOTO

MANILA — Profit-taking ended the two-day surge to record-highs of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Wednesday, but the peso improved as investors offloading their dollar holdings.

PSEi, which posted two consecutive record levels so far this week, ended the day at 8,920.23 points, down 0.88 percent or 78.79 points.

On Tuesday, it registered an all-time high close of 8,999.02 points.

Luis Limlingan, managing director of Regina Capital Development Corporation, said “investment managers still digest the impact of the underwhelming 4Q17 GDP results”, referring to the 6.6 percent growth of the domestic economy in the last quarter of 2017.

Markets have projected a growth of at least 6.7 percent for the last quarter of last year. Growth in the fourth quarter last year was slower than the upwardly revised seven percent projection in the previous quarter.

Full-year growth stood at 6.7 percent, within the government’s 6.5-7.5 percent target for the year, however.

Limlingan said domestic demand in the last quarter of the year grew by 1.2 percentage points year-on-year against the previous quarter but was countered by the 1.7 percent drop in net exports.

He added that the local currency “remained depreciated at the ~51.00 level which also precipitated the exodus today of stocks.”

He said the slip of both the local equities market and the peso during the day contradicted the rise in most of US stocks.

The broader All Shares tracked down the negative close of the main stocks gauge, shedding 0.17 percent, or 8.92 points, to 5,205.69 points.

Most of the sectors also finished on the red, led by the Holding Firms, 1.67 percent; followed by Mining and Oil, 1.32 percent; Financials, 0.58 percent; and Industrial, 0.03 percent.

On the other hand, Services rose 0.58 percent and Property by 0.11 percent.

Volume during the day reached 896.77 million shares amounting to P8.5 billion.

Losers led gainers at 115 to 103 while 40 stocks were unchanged.

The peso improved to 50.96 to a dollar from its 51.10 close a day ago.

A trader said investors also booked gains from the recent dollar run-up, thus, giving the peso a breather.

The unit opened the day at 51.05, weaker than its 50.82 start in the previous session.

It traded between 50.92 and 51.12 resulting in an average of 51.02.

Volume during the day reached USD791.45, down from the USD878.5 million a day ago.

The currency pair is projected to trade between 50.90 and 51.10 on Thursday.