Peso holds ground but lo­cal stocks head south

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

MANILA -- The Philip­pine peso con­tin­ued to show re­siliency against the US dol­lar, but trade war jit­ters hit the eq­ui­ties mar­ket anew, caus­ing the main in­dex to re­treat to the 6,900-level on Wed­nes­day.

The lo­cal cur­rency fin­ished the trade at 54.18 from 54.24 a day ago, bouyed by what a trader de­scribed as the small­erthan-ex­pected trade gap last Au­gust.

Trade deficit in the eighth month this year amounted to USD3.51 bil­lion, lower than the pre­vi­ous month’s USD3.55 bil­lion and the me­dian fore­cast of USD 3.55 bil­lion.

Im­ports again posted higher growth of 11 per­cent than ex­port’s 3.1 per­cent ex­pan­sion as do­mes­tic de­mand re­mains ro­bust.

As of end-Au­gust this year, trade deficit reached USD26 bil­lion, 68 per­cent up from year-ago’s USD15.4 bil­lion.

The trader said dol­lar sell-off dur­ing the day con­trib­uted to the peso’s pos­i­tive close.

For the day, the lo­cal unit opened at 54.19, side­ways from the pre­vi­ous ses­sion’s 54.16.

It im­proved to 54.11 but also touched 54.22 re­sult­ing to an aver­age of 54.171.

Vol­ume amounted to USD720.8 mil­lion, higher than the USD605 mil­lion a day ago.

On the other hand, the Philip­pine Stock Ex­change in­dex (PSEi) gave up 1.17 per­cent, or 82.76 points, to 6,976.62 points.

The widen­ing of the coun­try’s trade gap, to date, wor­ried in­vestors as this will in­crease the coun­try’s cur­rent ac­count deficit.

Re­ports about the trade con­cerns be­tween the US and China added to the risk-off sen­ti­ment, the trader said.

The neg­a­tive close of the PSEi was mir­rored by all the coun­ters, with the broader All Shares down also by 1.17 per­cent, or 50.86 points to 4,284.83 points. (PNA)

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