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PSEi sustains rise, peso firm amid Fed rate hike expectations

PSEi sustains rise, peso firm amid Fed rate hike expectations
By Joann S. Villanueva

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The Philippine stock market generally tracked improvements overseas and the peso ended little changed against the greenback on Tuesday even with the widely expected increase in the Federal Reserve rates this week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose for a second day in a row after a 0.40 percent or 28.66 points hike to 7,261.75 points.

All shares ticked up 0.10 points.

Most of the sectors ended with gains spearheaded by the Industrial, which is up by 0.75 percent.

It was followed by the Holding Firms, 0.62 percent; Services, 0.57 percent; and Financials, 0.22 percent.

On the other hand, Mining and Oil fell 2.77 percent, which a trader traced to mining players’ apprehension given the latest development on the hearing for the appointment of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez.

The property index also ended the day on the red after it declined 0.71 percent.

Total volume reached 1.71 billion shares amounting to PHP7 billion.

Losers led gainers at 105 to 86 while 48 stocks were unchanged.

On the other hand, the local currency finished the trade at 50.36 from 50.32 a day ago.

A trader said an increase in the Fed rates after the March 14-15 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has been priced in by the market, thus, the small changed in the peso’s closing level.

The pull of the dollar was seen early on when the local unit opened the day at 50.37 from day-ago’s 50.28.

It traded between a close range of 50.37 and 50.33 resulting to an average of 50.35.

Volume of trade reached USD314.2 million, higher than the USD233.4 million on Monday.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.20 and 50.40 Wednesday. (PNA)

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