MANILA – The Philippine peso improved against the US dollar Monday but the main equities index ended its four-day rally.

The local currency finished the day at 49.381 against the greenback from 49.55 close Friday last week.

It opened the day better at 49.52 from the 49.7 start in the previous session.

It traded between 49.55 and 49.36, resulting in an average of 49.459.

Volume totaled to USD609.77 million, lower than the USD758.3 million at the end of last week.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) contracted by 0.69 percent, or 44.25 points, to 6,328.41 points.

All Shares followed with a drop of 0.42 percent, or 15.76 points, to 3,702.17 points.

Most of the sectoral counters also ended the day on the red, led by Financials, which fell 2.20 percent.

The Property counter slipped by 0.91 percent, Holding Firms by 0.51 percent, and Industrial by 0.26 percent.

Mining and Oil rose by 2.87 percent and Services by 1.33 percent.

Volume totaled 1.07 billion shares amounting to PHP6.15 billion.

It was a balance between the advancers and decliners at 103 each, while 43 shares were unchanged.

“Local shares closed lower ahead of Wall Street’s return from a three-day holiday weekend as lack of leads made investors focus on other pertinent issues, such as the worldwide surge in Covid-19 cases and the upcoming inflation report,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said.

On Tuesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to report on the July 2020 inflation report.

Last May, the rate of price increases declined further to 2.1 percent from the previous month’s 2.2 percent.

Average inflation to date stood at 2.5 percent, within the government’s 2 to 4-percent target.

Philippine monetary officials forecast this year’s average inflation forecast to be at 2.2 percent. (PNA)