MANILA – The Philippine peso strengthened against the US dollar on Wednesday while the main stocks gauge slipped after a two-day rally, partly due to anticipations on the results of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting later in the day.

The local currency finished the day’s trade at 49.85 from 49.95 on Tuesday.

It opened the day at 50.05, weaker than its 49.85 start in the previous session, and traded between 50.07 and 49.83, resulting in an average of 49.954.

Volume totaled USD1.12 billion, higher than the previous day’s USD887.46 million.

On the other hand, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 2.19 percent, or 144.47 points, to 6,439.37 points.

This drop is the theme in the local bourse during the day, with the All Shares down by 1.97 percent, or 75.99 points, to 3,786.10 points.

Mining and Oil posted the biggest drop with 3.83 percent and was trailed by the Financials, 3.22 percent; Property, 2.57 points; Holding Firms, 2.46 percent; Industrial, 1.13 percent; and Services, 0.35 percent.

Volume totaled 825.25 million shares amounting to PHP8.96 billion.

Losers surpassed gainers at 147 to 55 while 41 shares were unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales, said the local equities market “took a breather amid concerns regarding the speed and size of the recent rally.”

Limlingan was referring to the main index’s rise for seven consecutive days from May 27 to June 4.

“Investors are also focusing on the FOMC meeting tonight,” he said, referring to the policy meeting of the Federal Reserve body that sets national monetary policy.

The FOMC is expected to announce stimulus programs to support the United States’ economy from the impact of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 even as latest economic reports from the world’s largest economy show better-than-expected figures.

Limlingan also noted the call by the People’s Bank of China for small and mid-sized financial institutions to slash provisions for bad loans to hike lending to businesses. (PNA)

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