By Joann Villanueva
MANILA — Signs of the slowdown of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in China lifted investors’ sentiments and strengthened the Philippine peso, but anxieties on the virus’ impact weakened the main stocks index Wednesday.
The local currency ended the day’s trade at 50.57 to the US dollar from 50.695 a day ago, which BPI Research attributed to reports about the slowdown of new Covid-19 cases in China alone.
Another factor that lifted the peso is the upgrade by Fitch Ratings of its outlook from “stable” to “positive” of its ‘BBB’ credit rating on the Philippines on Tuesday.
These reports allowed the currency to open the day’s trade at a better level of 50.54 from 50.75 in the previous session.
It traded between 50.52 and 50.605, bringing the day’s average at 50.569.
Volume totaled to USD813.67 million, higher than the USD662.7 million a day ago.
The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.50 and 50.80 on Thursday.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.76 percent, or 56.30 points, to 7,383.10 points.
The negative close of the main equities gauge was mirrored by all the other indices, with All Shares down by 0.79 percent, or 34.59 points, to 4,355.46 points.
Industrial registered the highest decline among the sectors with 1.67 percent, which was trailed by Services, 1.40 percent; Mining and Oil, 1.15 percent; Holding Firms, 0.63 percent; Property, 0.55 percent; and Financials, 0.18 percent.
Volume of trade totaled to 1.31 billion amounting to PHP6.07 billion.
Losers led gainers at 122 to 63, while 51 shares were unchanged. (PNA)