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Local shares, peso gain on higher exports

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Both local shares and currency improved yesterday as the government reported higher Philippine export revenues for August, brushing aside the Israel-Hamas conflict that started over the weekend.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) increased by 11.91 points to 6,264.07, with all shares also up by 6.22 points to 3,386.27 levels.

“(T)he sentiment got boosted by the narrower trade deficit recorded in August,” Philstocks Financial Inc. assistant research manager Claire Alviar said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that export revenues in August 2023 grew by 4.2 percent to USD6.7 billion from USD6.43 billion in August 2022, narrowing the trade deficit by 31.5 percent to USD4.1 billion from USD6 billion in the same comparable period.

“This data alone is expected to have a positive impact on the economy,” she added.

Gainers on Tuesday’s trading was led by Mining and Oil, increasing by 133.42 points to 11,074.08; followed by Property, up by 15.08 points to 2,616.11; Financials, up by 10.12 points to 1,818.99; and Services, up by 7.96 points to 1,520.11.

Shares of Holding Firms and Industrial were this day’s decliners by 25.02 and 3.71 points, respectively.

“Many investors, however, remained on the sidelines with the net market value turnover posting at P4.17 billion,” Alviar added.

Advancers outpaced decliners at 96 to 77, with shares of 50 firms left unchanged.

Meanwhile, the Philippine peso closed stronger at 56.82 to a US dollar from 56.95 on Monday.

Although it opened the day weak at 56.90, the peso strengthened to 56.82 and traded up to a high of 56.92, bringing the average level for the day at 56.88 to the greenback.

Volume of traded declined to USD1.05 billion on Tuesday from USD1.25 billion in the previous trading.

Rizal Commercial Bank Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort said aside from the declining trade deficit, the stronger net foreign direct investments (FDIs) data also supported the stronger peso trading.

“For tomorrow, the peso exchange rate could range at the 56.70 to 56.90 levels,” Ricafort forecasted.*PNA

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