PSEi, peso weaken on possible US-China trade war

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The Philippine Stock Exchange, file image. BUSINESSWORLD PHOTO

MANILA – Concerns over the possible trade war between the United States and China weakened both the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) and the local currency Friday.

After its recovery on Thursday, the main equities index went back to the 7,900-level Friday after it fell 1.89 percent, or 153.65 points, to 7,970.80 points.

A trader said market players turned cautious after US President Donald Trump issued a memorandum that penalizes China for infringement of intellectual property rights, which in turn cost tariffs amounting to about USD60 billion for Chinese products.

With fears of a possible trade war between the world’s first and second largest economy, all the other equity counters trailed the main index, led by the All Shares, which declined by 1.35 percent, or 66.01 points, or 4,824.16 points.

Holding Firms registered the highest loss with 2.04 percent followed by Property, 2.02 percent; Financials, 1.89 percent; Services, 1.38 percent; Industrial, 1.15 percent; and Mining and Oil, 1.03 percent.

Losers led gainers at 143 to 65 while 39 shares remained unchanged as transactions reached 2.55 billion shares amounting to PHP8.6 billion.

Meanwhile, the peso finished the day at 52.39 from 52.20 a day ago.

A trader said risk-off sentiment in the local equities market due in turn to external developments caused the peso’s weak finish for the week.

The local unit opened on a depreciated level of 52.25 against its 52.15 start in the previous session.

Its opening level was the unit’s strongest for the day after it dipped to 52.39 mid-trade, resulting in an average of 52.338.

Volume reached USD701.2 million, lower than the USD717.4 million a day ago.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 52.10 and 52.40 next week.