Bargain hunting lifts PSEi; peso keeps ground

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RISK-ON sentiment boosted the main index Monday while the peso stood firm against the greenback.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended its two-day slide and recovered by 0.97 percent, or 80.99 points, to 8,453.50 points, which a trader attributed to bargain hunting after days of losses.

Most of the sub-indices followed with the broader All Shares up by 0.62 percent, or 31.19 points, to 5,083.98 points.

The sectors were led by the Financials, which rose 1.50 percent, and tracked by the Property, 1.17 percent; Services and Industrial, both with 0.67 percent increases; and Holding Firms, 0.59 percent.

Only the Mining and Oil declined after losing 0.66 percent.

Volume for the day reached 8.6 billion shares amounting to P7.2 billion.

Losers led gainers at 109 to 106 while 44 stocks were unchanged.

The peso ended the week’s first trading day almost unchanged to the US dollar at 52.04 from 52.03 Friday last week.

A trader said mid-month dollar demand by corporates along with the wait-and-see stance on US’ inflation report for February 2018 were among the factors on Monday’s currency trading.

Last January, US’ consumer price index (CPI) rose by 2.1 percent, at the level that was in line with the Federal Reserve’s long-term target.

The trader said investors are looking forward for sustained two percent level inflation in the US since this is among the factors for additional hikes in the Fed’s key rates.

The local unit opened the day better at 51.95 from 52.12 in the previous session.

It traded between 51.92 and 52.07, resulting in an average of 52.008.

Volume reached $507.9 million, down from $592.1 million last Friday.

The peso is seen to trade between 51.90 and 52.10 to a dollar Tuesday.

p: wjg

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