MANILA – The peso ended Wednesday sideways against the US dollar but the main equities index finished on the negative after a suggestion for the US Federal Reserve to increase asset purchases to lift the economy.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 2.53 percent, or 156.30 points, to 6,016.51 points.

All the other counters also finished with losses, with the All Shares dipping by 2.25 percent, or 81.49 points, to 3,544.36 points.

Industrial counter contracted by 3.04 percent, the highest among the sectoral indices.

Holding Firms declined by 2.81 percent, Services by 2.47 percent, Mining and Oil by 2.17 percent, Financials by 2.02 percent, and Property by 1.77 percent.

Volume totaled 2.66 billion shares amounting to PHP7.29 billion.

Losers surpassed gainers at 166 to 48, while 32 shares were unchanged.

“Local shares were sold down as investors fled to their countries of domicile after Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard called for sustained large-scale asset purchase by the US central bank to help the economy rebound amid a thick fog of uncertainty brought on by Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019),” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales.

Limlingan said an additional factor that affected investors’ sentiment during the day is the news that US President Donald Trump has issued an order to end Hong Kong’s special status, and signed HongKong’s Sanction Bill punishing Chinese officials who will crack down on Hong Kong residents’ rights of free speech and peaceful gathering.

Meanwhile, the local currency ended the day’s trade at 49.48 from its 49.545 close a day ago.

It opened the day sideways at 49.45 from a 49.52 start in the previous session.

It traded between 49.495 and 49.425, resulting in an average of 49.466.

Volume totaled to USD563.8 million, lower than the USD793.7 million a day ago. (PNA)