Peso remains unchanged at 51.70, stocks slip anew

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MANILA — The peso remained unchanged on Friday while stocks declined anew as investors sold heavily following adjustments made in the benchmark index of MSCI. The local currency closed 51.70 against the US dollar, still its strongest since finishing the trade at 51.675 on May 4, 2018. “The peso depreciated in the morning as market players factored in the latest GDP (gross domestic product) print from the US and ongoing geopolitical tensions in Asia, but it eventually returned to where it closed on Thursday amid tight peso liquidity as shown by the recent slowdown in money supply growth,” BPI Global Markets said in a report.

The peso opened at the 51.860 level, touching an intra-day low of 51.7 and settled at that level by the close. The currency pair is expected to trade within the 51.7 to 51.9 range on Monday. Meanwhile, the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended the trade at 7,641.77, down by 0.83 percent or 63.72 points. Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan said investors sold heavily in reaction to the announcement that the MSCI will raise the inclusion factor for China A shares from 5 percent at present to 20 percent by end-November 2019. Limlingan said the rising representation of A shares in global indexes “could potentially create active (and some involuntarily) allocation demand to China A.”

He also cited Thursday’s second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, which “ended abruptly without any agreement on nuclear disarmament or easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula”. “US stocks hence closed Thursday near their lows with a third straight decline for the Dow and S&P 500,” he added. All counters also ended in the red, led by services, property, financials, and mining and oil which declined 1.08 percent to 1.56 percent. Volume reached 1.65 billion shares amounting to PHP8.47 billion. Decliners led gainers at 114 to 64, while 60 shares were unchanged. (PNA)

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