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Peso remains strong vs. USD; PSEi slides anew

Political concerns in the US continue to worry investors resulting in the risk-off sentiment even in the Philippine equities market Thursday but the Philippine peso remained strong against the greenback.

The local currency finished the day at 52.03, little changed against the 52.07 a day ago.

A trader said political concerns overseas were surpassed by positive news in the country such as the strong growth of remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the first month this year.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that cash remittances grew by 9.7 percent year-on-year last January to USD2.38 billion, higher than the 7.1 percent expansion in the previous month.

This news, the trader said, was a plus for the economy since some analysts had been citing the slower growth of remittances in recent months, which monetary officials said was as expected since remittance inflows were maturing and had posted strong growth in the past.

With positive news from the domestic front, the peso opened sideways at 52.08 from 52.06 a day ago.

It traded between 52.02 and 52.12, resulting in an average of 52.07 a day ago.

Volume reached USD465.5 million, lower than the USD500.35 million Wednesday.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 52.00 and 52.20 Friday.

On the other hand, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) again gave up gains in the past and ended the day at 8,190.01 points, down 158.73 points.

All Shares followed with a drop of 1.38 percent, or 69.41 points, decline to 4,966.44 points.

Most of the sectoral indices also ended on the red, led by the Property, which fell 2.80 percent.

It was followed by the Holding Firms, 1.89 percent; Industrial, 1.47 percent; Financials, 1.21 percent; and Services, 0.52 percent.

Only the Miing and Oil managed to post gains of 0.06 percent.

Volume reached 8.14 billion shares amounting to PHP7.6 billion.

Losers led gainers at 118 to 92 while 47 shares were unchanged. PNA

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