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PSEi closes at new all-time high, peso strongest in 6 months

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 0.52 percent or 44.18 points to 8,535.09 while the local currency closed at P49.98 against the greenback. File

MANILA, Philippines — With one trading day to go for 2017, local shares finished at a new-all time high and settled above the 8,500 resistance level Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Philippine peso likewise closed with gains on Thursday, with the local unit reaching the highest level in six months.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 0.52 percent or 44.18 points to 8,535.09 — beating the previous record of 8,523.07 last November.

“Both Philippine and US Stocks finished higher on their last trading sessions as window dressing is now underway,” Regina Capital Development Corp.’s Luis Limlingan said in a text message to reporters.

“The Philippines broke ground as it zoomed past the 8,500 level, while succumbing to some resistance as it tried to reach a new all-time high,” Limlingan added.

Of the sectoral counters, only the holding firms counter ended in red, dropping 0.16 percent or 13.97 points to 8,606.49.

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The bourse was lifted by the financial and mining/oil counters, which both surged above 1 percent. Value turnover stood at P6.4 billion.

Advancers slightly outnumbered decliners with 107 to 105, while 38 others closed unchanged.

Metrobank and Jollibee, which rose by 3.94 percent and 2.09 percent, respectively, helped push the PSEi higher while SM Investments, SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Corp. declined.

Strongest in six months

Meanwhile, the peso closed at P49.98 against the greenback, 6 centavos stronger than the P50.04 finish in the previous session.

It was the peso’s best level since the P49.91-per-dollar recorded on June 19, 2017.

"Combination of strong remittance and equity inflows as well as US dollar softness over uncertainty of impact of US tax legislation [boosted Philippines peso],” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in a statement.

“Domestic fundamentals remain attractive. Lately reinforced by [Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act] approval,” he added.

Sought for comment, Jonathan Ravelas, BDO Unibank, Inc. chief market strategist, said in a separate text message: "At the moment it's more of the remittance flows when it comes to the current situation as well as thin trading."

"The added bonus is the dollar continues to be weak," Ravelas added.

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