Peso ends sideways, PSEi down on Tuesday

MANILA, June 17 (PNA) — The Philippine peso on Tuesday ended sideways to a dollar but the local bourse posted losses anew ahead of the policy meetings of US and Philippine monetary officials.

The local currency ended the day at 43.87, slightly better than the 43.92 Monday, which a trader said is expected because of the on-going conflict in Iraq, among other places.

For one, US’ Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will have its fourth policy meeting on June 17-18, and it is widely expected to announce another USD 10 billion cut in the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program.

The USD 85-billion stimulus program has been slashed off by USD 40 billion since last December as more positive economic reports churn out from the US.

Relatively, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) policy-making Monetary Board (MB) will also have its fourth rate setting meet on Thursday and it is expected to announce the possible tightening of its key rates aside from another adjustment in the banks’ reserve requirements.

The local currency opened the day at 43.94, slightly weaker than the 43.88 Monday.

It even touched the 44-level mid-trade at 44.02 but was able to strengthen to as much as 43.86.

This brought the day’s average to 43.95, a drop against the 43.87 in the previous trading.

Volume of trade reached USD 571.3 million, a moderate improvement compared to the USD 426.4 million a day ago.

For Wednesday, the peso is expected to trade between 43.90 and 44.10 to a dollar.

On the other hand, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.79 percent or 53.52 points to 6,704.93.

All the sub-indices tracked the main index, led by the property with 1.89 percent or 49.91 points drop to 2,597.15 points.

Volume of trade reached 1.58 million amounting to P7.69 billion.

Losers led gainers at 131 to 53 while 35 stocks were unchanged. (PNA)