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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Stock market corrects; peso up

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The stock market fell Friday on profit-taking to snap a three-day rally, after the index nearly touched the 7,000-point mark the day before.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 64.37 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,899.07 on a value turnover of P6.9 billion. Gainers, however, edged losers, 90 to 83, with 42 issues unchanged.

The peso on Friday posted a two-month high against the US dollar, gaining P0.14 to close at 46.945 from 47.08 Thursday.

It was the peso’s strongest level since 46.89 on Jan. 5, 2016. Total volume traded reached $649.75 million, lower than $962.5 million a day ago.

Nicholas Antonio Mapa, research officer of the Ayala-controlled Bank of the Philippine Islands, said earlier the peso was tracking the movement of regional currencies, with the Chinese yuan leading the way.

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Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has investments in toll roads, water and electricity distribution and hospitals, declined 2.1 percent to P5.70, while Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., the biggest telecommunications firm, lost 2.1 percent to P1,797.

SM Investments Corp. of retail tycoon Henry Sy, fell 3 percent to P910, while  International Container Terminal Services Inc., the largest port operator, tumbled 5.2 percent to P61.05.

Dealers, meanwhile, edged up in Asia on Friday, ending an upbeat week across global trading floors on a high, with focus turning to a key US jobs report and the start of China’s annual policy gathering.

After the miserable start to the year for investors, March has so far been a ray of sunshine thanks to some positive US data and Beijing’s decision to ease monetary policy.

A pick-up in oil prices—which in January were near 13-year lows below $30 a barrel—has also provided some stability, with energy firms breathing a sigh of relief.

“US data continues to shine, oil continues to firm and risk appetite is coming back into all aspects of the markets,” Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG in Melbourne, wrote in an email to clients.

Tokyo’s Nikkei ended 0.3 percent higher, while Hong Kong added 1.1 percent in the afternoon.

Shanghai closed 0.5 percent higher and Sydney 0.2 percent. Singapore and Wellington enjoyed big gains but Seoul dipped 0.1 percent. With AFP, Julito G. Rada

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