• Stocks, peso fall as oil resumes plunge

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    The stock market and the peso dropped on Wednesday as a renewed decline in oil prices dispelled the region’s remaining high over last week’s Bank of Japan stimulus.

    The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) fell by 1.82 percent or 120.97 points to close at 6,521.48, while the wider All Shares index declined by 1.63 percent or 61.85 points to 3,743.97.

    The peso hit a one-week low, losing 12 centavos to end the day at P47.86 to $1. Wednesday’s finish was the weakest since January 26 when the currency slid to P47.99.

    “Equities were routed by foreign players heading for the exits, forcing the peso to weaken,” said Nicholas Antonio Mapa, Bank of the Philippine Islands associate economist, adding that investors also loaded up on the dollar ahead of a US jobs report on Friday.

    Luis Limlingan, head of research and sales at Regina Capital Development Corp., attributed the stock market’s fall to oil prices falling below $30 a barrel, which he said had weighed on the US market.

    “The drop is a carry-over … We are just tracking the US market,” Limlingan said.

    He noted that most investors were hoping for other economies like China to follow the Bank of Japan’s move to effectively charge banks for parking their money in its vaults.

    Leonardo Arguelles Jr., president and chief executive officer at Unicapital Securities Inc., said the local bourse could see a more stable direction after the May national elections.

    “Locally speaking, the stock market would remain volatile until the conclusion of the national elections. At present, there are yet no clear signs as to who is going to head the Philippines and this vagueness made our local investors indecisive as to how they would grow their money,” Arguelles said.

    All sub-indices were in red, with services firms posting the largest fall at 2.77 percent.
    Total turnover value was just P5.803 billion, with losers edging out winners, 123 to 51, while 33 issues remained the same.

    The peso, meanwhile, opened at P47.86 to $1 at the Philippine Dealing System before trading between P47.83 and P47.92.

    Total volume transacted declined to P622.6 million from P663.4 million.

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