Peso recovers, shares little changed as investors monitor martial law


Posted at May 25 2017 09:52 AM

MANILA – The peso rebounded against the dollar, while share prices were little changed, with investors watching how President Rodrigo Duterte would implement martial law in Mindanao.

The peso opened at P49.92 against the greenback from P49.995 on Thursday. The dollar held at its weakest in 6 and ½ months after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting was not as hawkish as expected.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index was down 0.08 percent to 7,831.69.

“The domestic market at this point is not really spooked,” Regina Capital analyst Rens Cruz said.

“Duterte won the presidency on the promise of being a strongman and he is actually delivering on that promise of being a strongman, except on the martial law part,” Cruz told ANC’s Market Edge with Cathy Yang.

The peso will likely consolidate between P49.60 to P50.40 to the dollar on Thursday, BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said.

Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after deadly clashes between government troops and Maute militants in Marawi City. On Wednesday, he said the declaration could cover the entire country if the security problem would worsen.

Financial markets were not severely affected because the declaration was limited to the south, but an expansion of its coverage “might incite some downside reaction,” Cruz said.