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PSEi, peso set record to open 2018

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 1.94 percent or 165.71 points to 8,724.13 on Wednesday — beating the previous record of 8,558.42 that was set on December 29 last year, the last trading day of 2017.  File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s financial markets welcomed 2018 with a bang, with local shares breaching the 8,700 resistance level on the first trading day, and the peso rallying to its best level against the US dollar in six months.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 1.94 percent or 165.71 points to 8,724.13 on Wednesday — beating the previous record of 8,558.42 that was set on December 29 last year, the last trading day of 2017.

"The back-to-back closing at new record highs on the first trading day of 2018 and last trading day of 2017 is an auspicious sign for our stock market," said PSE President and CEO Ramon Monzon. 

“Investor confidence and optimism were very apparent in today's trading and we hope our market will remain robust for most of the year,” he added.

All sectoral counters ended in green, led by holding firms and property counters, which both surged by over 2 percent.

Value turnover stood at P7.29 billion.

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“Philippine markets resumed their bullish climb on opening day with another record high once again. Investors are continuing to make their bets on issues they believe will outperform for the rest of the year,” Regina Capital Development Corp.’s Luis Limlingan said in a market commentary.

Advancers outnumbered decliners with 118 to 102, while 38 others closed unchanged.

The PSEi was led higher by SM Investments, which climbed by 5.05 percent.

On the other hand, BDO — the day’s most actively traded stock — slipped by 1.83 percent.

Also on Wednesday, the Philippine peso closed at P49.810 against the greenback, 12 centavos stronger than the P49.930 finish in the previous session.

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

The peso opened the session at P49.800 against the dollar.

Its intraday trough was seen at P49.920 versus the greenback, while its best showing was at P49.800-to-the-dollar.

"The peso appreciated at the first trading day of the year amid the local tax reform bill’s effectivity this year along with the overall global weakness of the dollar on uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s direction under incoming Fed chair Jay Powell," Guian Angelo Dumalagan, market economist at the Land Bank of the Philippines, said in a text message.

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