PSEi hits new record; peso at strongest level in 4 years

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2012 05:03 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2012 04:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) rallied to a new record high, while the peso closed at its strongest in over 4 years, as hopes for further policy easing by major central banks boosted riskier assets.

The PSE index closed at a new record of 5,365.70, up 1.23% on Tuesday, breaking the previous record set on May 3. This is the 20th record set at market close this year alone.

The PSEi also hit a record intraday high at 5,374.35, beating the previous level set on May 4.

"Expectations that US and European central banks will move to stimulate their economies bode well for global markets going forward.  We continue to be optimistic  that similar developments in the future should help sustain our momentum as we start the second half of 2012 on a high note with the latest PSEi record," PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said, in a statement.

The local bourse followed the lead of most Asian markets that rose on Tuesday, on hopes that central banks in the United States and Europe would take action to boost their sluggish economies after a stream of negative data.

Regional bourses shrugged off a lacklustre performance on Wall Street, as investors hoped the Federal Reserve would take stimulus measures after weak US manufacturing data, and that the ECB would cut rates at a meeting on Thursday.

Tokyo closed up 0.70 percent, or 63.11 points, at 9,066.59, and Seoul ended 0.87 percent, or 16.17 points, higher at 1,867.82.

Hong Kong was up 1.24 percent in afternoon trade, while Shanghai put on 0.13 percent.

Sydney finished down 0.14 percent, or 5.80 points, at 4,127.2, although analysts said a central bank decision to keep interest rates on hold at 3.50 percent after two recent cuts had little effect on the market.

Peso at strongest since 2008

Meanwhile, the peso settled at 41.72 to the US dollar, the strongest finish since April 11, 2008.

Reuters reports investors dumped the greenback amid talk of one-time dollar flows of some $700 million that's linked to Banco de Oro's recent stock rights offer.

The Henry Sy-led bank said on Monday it raised over $1 billion from the sale of shares to be listed on the stock exchange this week. - With ANC, Reuters, Agence France-Presse