MANILA—The Philippine peso fell to its fresh 10-year low to a greenback while the local equities market was again affected by foreign selling ahead of US president Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday.
The local currency finished the week’s first trading day at 50.27 from 50.21 at the end of last week. This was its weakest after the 50.32 in Sept. 26, 2006.
A trader said withdrawals by foreign investors of their local stocks holdings were up as uncertainties rose ahead of Trump’s speech to the US Congress.
This further weakened the peso, the trader said.
ING Manila senior economist Joey Cuyegkeng said combination of weaker external payments position and domestic political noise were affecting the peso.
He eyes the local currency to end the first quarter this year still above the 50-level to a dollar.
“Local factors are likely to keep PHP on the defensive and could be compounded by USD strength resulting from positive reflation policy details tomorrow and the following weeks,” he said.
He, however, cited that “President’s support for economic reforms and infrastructure projects, including the Department of Finance tax reform package could narrow the PHP premium.”
The local currency’s weak finish showed early on when it opened the day at 50.24 from the previous session’s 50.16.
It traded between its opening level and 50.29 resulting to an average of 50.26.
Volume of trade reached USD366.6 million, lower than the USD415.3 million last Friday.
The currency pair is seen to trade between 50.20 and 50.40 Tuesday.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended the day at 7,232.47 points, down 0.37 percent or 26.52 points.
A trader said investors turned more cautious but pointed out that this was not just in the Philippines but the rest of the region.
“Investors are on the lookout of any sweeping statements from Trump, ” the trader said.
With this external factor All Shares also lost 0. 24 percent, or 10.73 points, to 4,384.35 points.
There was a balance among the sectors with three each posting gains while the other half registered contractions.
Mining and Oil, Financials and Services went up 1.55 percent, 0.28 percent and 0.02 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, Holding Firms gave up 0.70 percent followed by Property, 0.56 percent, and Industrial, 0.21 percent.
Volume of trade totalled to 826.84 million shares amounting to Php 4.4 billion.
Decliners led gainers at 103 to 84 while 54 shares were unchanged.