PSEi, peso start 2018 with a bang

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File photo of Philippine Stock Exchange officials leading the ceremonial ringing of the bell on the first trading day of 2018 in Makati City. Analysts said at the BusinessWorld Stockmarket Roundtable 2018 that the local bourse is expected to weather global volatility this year. PHOTO BY GEREMY PINTOLO, PHIL. STAR

MANILA – Foreign funds continue to pour into the Philippines’ equities market, boosting not only the main index but also the peso on Wednesday (Jan. 3).

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished at 8,724.13 points, up 1.94 percent or 165.71 points Wednesday, the first trading day of 2018

A trader pointed this to investors’ sentiment on the domestic economy due in part to the implementation of the first part of the tax reform program’s Package 1 starting this month.

According to the trader, investors expressed hope that the tax reform program would boost the government’s capacity to fund its infrastructure program, among others, and further improve its growth prospects.

With views remaining up, all the other indices tracked the main gauge with the broader All Shares rising by 1.30 percent, or 64.68 points, to 5,054.65 points.

Holding Firms led the sectors with a 2.95 percent increased followed by the Property, 2.27 percent; Services, 1.05 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.84 percent; Industrial, 0.61 percent; and Financials, 0.47 percent.

Volume for the day reached 712.83 million shares amounting to PHP7.29 billion.

Gainers led losers at 118 to 102 while 38 shares remained unchanged.

PESO CLOSE: 49.81

The peso ended the trading at 49.81, way better than its 49.93 close on Dec. 29, 2017.

Its latest close was the local unit’s strongest after its 49.63 finish on June 15, 2017.

The trader said the peso benefits from the positive outlook on the economy even as investors remain expectant for more increases in the Federal Reserve’s key rates this year.

The peso’s strength showed early on after the unit opened the year’s trading at 49.80 from 49.90 in the last trading day of 2017.

It ranged between its opening level and 49.92 resulting to an average of 49.85.

Volume totaled to USD634.2 million, lower than the USD742.2 million.

The trader expects the currency pair to trade between 49.80 and 50.00 Thursday.