PH shares close lower, peso slightly stronger

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2017 08:27 PM

Philippine shares joined the rest of Asia in choppy trading before closing lower.

The PSE index fell 0.4 pct closing at 7,316 while the All Shares index fell 0.3 pct to close at 4,404.

Today's big losers include Metro Pacific Investments, Ayala Land, SM Prime Holdings, and Universal Robina Corp.

Luis Limlingan, Managing Director at Regina Capital expects trading to be more subdued in the following weeks. 

"We still expect it to be more of the same as we have been experiencing over six or seven weeks. We saw this same trading sequence in the beginning of February," Limlingan said.

"In fact we were quite surprised last week that it bumped above 7,300 because if you look at the whole February, it barely touched 7,300 and it would also succumb to 7,200 and had a narrow range this year," he added. 

Meanwhile the peso ended slightly stronger as it closed at 50.09 to the US dollar from a previous close of 50.18.

Many Asian markets faltered on the first trading day of the week as investors digested headlines from the G20 finance ministers meeting over the weekend.

In a communique, Finance ministers and central bankers of the world's biggest economies pushed to strengthen trade, but did not mention the bloc's longstanding opposition to tariffs and rules favoring one economy over another.

The G20 communique comes as the Trump administration pushes its "America First" policy.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration wants to take another look at some agreements even as he insisted that the US believes in free trade.. 

"We are one of the largest trading partners in the world. Our trade has been good for us and good for other people. Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements," Mnuchin said.

"And again, I think we have made it very clear both here as well as in the press conference in Berlin, that the United States believes in trade and believes in free and fair trade. And we wanted to make sure that the language in the communique reflected what we have discussed," he added.