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Bacolod City, PhilippinesWednesday, June 19, 2013
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Local stock prices up, peso down

The local bourse ended yesterday with gains on bargain hunting while the peso depreciated ahead of the US central bank’s policy meeting today.

All counters rose with a generally two-percent level growth with the main index posting a 2.83 percent or 179.36 points increase to 6,518.77 points.

The all shares index rose by 2.26 percent or 88.99 points to 4,031.42 points.

The holding firms led the sectoral counters with 3.80 percent or 213.91 points rise to 5,845.23 points.

Volume of trade reached 901.34 million amounting to P6.87 billion.

Gainers led losers at 107 to 50 while 46 were unchanged.

First Grade Holdings Inc. Managing Director Astro del Castillo told PNA that “positive sentiment in the global market continues to influence us.”

“News on strong OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) remittances contributed to the renewed confidence,” he said.

On Monday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported the seven percent year-on-year increase of personnel remittances last April to $2 billion.

Growth of inflows from overseas Filipinos stood at 6.4 percent in the first four months this year to reach US$ 7.7 billion on back of stronger inflows from both the land-based and sea-based workers.

Amid this positive development, Del Castillo said “investors remain cautious as value turn-over remains thin.”

He declined to give a general direction for the local bourse this week citing that this “depends on trend in global markets.”

Similarly, Banco de Oro Unibank chief strategist Jonathan Ravelas, said that “bargain hunting on selected counters helped push shares higher.”

“As market players (are) optimistic on the outcome of the Fed meeting,” he added.

The Federal Open Market Committee will have its meeting today and the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the Committee’s decision 2 a.m. Thursday (Manila time).

Because of investors’ risk-off attitude, the peso shed P 0.25 to 43.12 to a dollar from day-ago’s 42.87 finish.

“It’s basically because everybody is waiting for the Fed decision,” a trader said.

The local currency started the trade at 42.94, way below the 42.82 Monday.

Its opening level is the local unit’s strongest for the day after it dipped to 43.22.

This brought the average for the day at 43.10, down from the 42.88 in the previous day.

Volume of trade went up to $889.02 million from the previous day’s $611.8 million.

The trader said the peso, like the other Asian currencies “had short covering” during the day.

The peso is expected to trade between 42.90 and 43.30 today.*PNA

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Local stock prices up, peso down