Peso remains strong despite US-Iran jitters, stocks down

Peso remains strong despite US-Iran jitters, stocks down
Graphic from PNA

By Joanne Villanuava

Geopolitical issues between the US and Iran worried investors, resulting in the losses in the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) but the peso managed to stay afloat.

The local currency ended the day’s trade at 50.756, little change from its 50.76 close Tuesday.

It opened the day on a weak tone at 51.16 from 50.945 a day ago.

It was able to strengthen to 50.74 mid-trading but also dipped to 51.25, resulting in an average of 50.956.

Volume reached USD1.963 billion, higher than the USD1.627 billion a day ago.

BPI Research said the peso weakened early in the day after “investors gave up risky assets in a knee-jerk reaction to Iran’s counter attack.”

This, after news reports said the Middle Eastern country fired several ballistic missiles at two US military bases in Iraq following the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

BPI Research said the peso was able to gain strength after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said there is enough oil supply despite the latest conflict in the Middle East.

It forecasts the peso to trade between 50.60 and 51.10 to a dollar on Thursday.

The PSEi, meanwhile, shed 1.33 percent, or 104.46 points, to 7,736.24 points after a two-day recovery.

All Shares also ended in the red after it fell 1.14 percent, or 52.77 points, to 4,595.58 points.

Industrial index posted the highest decline at 2.34 percent, followed by Holding Firms, 1.58 percent; Financials, 1.44 percent; Property, 0.65 percent; and Services, 0.20 percent.

Only the Mining and Oil proved resilient during the day after it rose 1.007 percent.

Volume totaled to 1.76 billion shares amounting to PHP5.17 billion.

Losers led gainers at 126 to 60, while 52 shares were unchanged. 

(First published in PNA)

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