Peso stays afloat vs. USD, main equities index dip

MANILA – The peso ended sideways against the US dollar on Thursday but the main equities index weakened amid profit-taking a day after its recovery.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 1.48 percent, or 92.92 points, to 6,192.58 points.
This negative close was also the theme for most of the other indices, with All Shares dipping by 1.04 percent, or 38.23 points, to 3,645.52 points.
The Property counter led the losers among the sectoral gauges with a drop of 3.07 percent.
Trailing behind were Industrial, which fell 1.74 percent; Holding Firms, 0.89 percent; Financials, 0.86 percent; and Services, 0.16 percent.
Only Mining and Oil finished with gains for the day after rising by 1.33 percent.
Volume totaled 1.42 billion shares amounting to PHP5.09 billion.
Losers surpassed gainers at 104 to 87, while 39 shares were unchanged.
Luis Limlingan, head of sales at Regina Capital Development Corp., attributed the PSEi’s decline to profit-taking on account of the rise of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases around the world.
Limlingan said authorities are reluctant to impose another lockdown because this would aggravate the economic impact of the quarantine implemented earlier to address the rise in infections.
He, however, said the emergency lending program of the Federal Reserve “helped stabilize markets after anxiety over the coronavirus sparked volatility in March.”
Citing reports quoting a senior official of the New York Fed, Limlingan said the Fed is also “ready to adjust its approach if necessary.”
At home, the local currency finished the day at 49.41 from 49.47 the previous day, opening at a better level of 49.45 from 49.54 in the previous session.
It traded between 49.5 and 49.39, resulting in an average of 49.444.
Volume totaled USD641.7 million, a drop from the USD760.73 million on Wednesday. (PNA)