MANILA – The peso improved to 49-level against the US dollar Wednesday but the main stocks gauge weakened as investors continued to weigh global developments on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The local unit finished the day’s trade at 49.98 from its 50.19 close against the greenback Tuesday.

It opened the day at 50.11, weaker than its 50.1 start in the previous session.

It traded between 50.13 and 49.97, resulting in an average of 50.072.

Volume totaled to USD671.3 million, lower than the USD891.8 million a day ago.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) contracted by 1.73 percent, or 108.95 points, to 6,188.83 points.

Most of the other counters followed with the All Shares down by 1.15 percent, or 42.29 points, to 3,643.43 points.

The Property counter led the sectors with a drop of 3.60 percent, and was trailed by Industrial, 1.72 percent; Financials, 1.09 percent; Services, 1.03 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.70 percent.

Only Mining and Oil gained during the day which surged by 2.71 percent.

Volume totaled to 3.8 billion shares amounting to PHP6.64 billion.

Losers surpassed gainers at 121 to 83, while 33 shares were unchanged.

“Local shares closed lower towards the end of trading as improving economic data was offset by the ability of the US to respond to rising Covid-19 cases,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said.

He also cited reports quoting US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin as saying that the US economy will be out of recession by end-2020, and the administration is discussing another economic stimulus program.  (PNA)

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