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Peso touches 51-level vs. USD; local shares slip

INVESTORS DECIDED to stay at the sidelines Monday, resulting in the sideways closing of the Philippine peso and the decline of the Philippines’ main stocks index.

The local currency finished the week’s first trading day at 52.11 from 52.07-close Friday last week.

A trader said all eyes are on the outcome of the US-China meeting this week in Beijing, because this will be a deciding factor in future of trade between the world’s top two economies.

Even with uncertainties up, the peso opened the week’s trading at 52.11 from the previous session’s 52.175.

It improved to 51.91 but also touched 52.125, resulting to an average of 51.998.

Volume totaled to USD1.14 billion from USD1.23 billion in the previous session.

The trader expects the peso to trade between 51.90 and 52.10 to a greenback Tuesday.

On the other hand, the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) contracted by 0.12 percent, or 9.35 points, to 8,061.54 points.

Most of the counters trailed the main index, with the broader All Shares down by 0.08 percent, or 3.84 points, to 4,892.48 points.

Mining and Oil registered the highest decline at 1.50 percent and was followed by the Services, 1.06 percent; Financials, 0.78 percent; and Industrial, 0 51 percent.

On the other hand, Property increased by 0.86 percent and Holding Firms, 0.12 percent.

Volume reached 3.37 billion shares amounting to PHP6 billion. Losers led gainers at a close call of 108 to 105 while 36 stocks were unchanged.

Aside from the US-China trade talks, Regina Capital Managing Director Luis Limlingan said the nearing of US government shutdown dateline also contributed to investors uncertainties during the deal.

The 35-day shutdown of US government ended last January 25 but another shutdown is looming as US lawmakers have yet to agree on funding for President Donald Trump’s enhanced border security.

Citing reports, Limlingan said dateline to prevent another shutdown is on February 15 but discussions were stalled over the issue of the number and purpose of immigration detention beds. (PNA)

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