Stocks drop, peso seen at 49:$1

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    Share prices ended lower Wednesday as investors awaited for more news to trade the market.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index was down 71.59 points to 5,946.62, a 1.19 percent drop.

    The broader all shares index was down 25.76 points to 3,565.81, a 0.72 percent drop.

    Losers edged gainers 97 to 87 with 52 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P5.36 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.385 to the dollar, up from 48.40 on Tuesday.

    The currency opened at 48.43 and hit a high of 48.35 and a low of 48.45. Trading turnover reached $631.95 million.

    SB Equities Inc. said it expects the peso to close the year at 49. It noted that as of September 15, the peso appreciated around 4.7 percent “since the beginning of the year.”

    “Lending support to the peso’s resiliency are the country’s strong balance of payments (BOP) position and record-high gross international reserves (GIR). The country generated a BOP surplus of $4.12 billion during the first seven months of the year on the back of foreign borrowings and slower imports, while the GIR rose to a record $98.6 billion for the same period. The GIR as of end-July 2020 can finance 8.9 months of average imports of goods and services compared with July 2019’s 7.4 months; this in turn boosts confidence in the peso. Another factor is the US Federal Reserve’s policy shift, which lent weakness to the US dollar and benefitted emerging market (EM) currencies which include the peso,” it said.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., Wednesday’s market close was influenced by risk aversion of investors “ahead of a policy update by the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and Bank of England and increased tension from the US trade war.”

    Most actively traded SM Investments Corp. was down P27 to P910. Universal Robina Corp. was down P4.20 to P137. Ayala Land Inc. was down P0.50 to P31.45. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was steady at P28.50. Puregold Price Club Inc. was down P0.85 to P47.70. BDO Unibank Inc. was down P2.05 to P88. Jollibee Foods Corp. was down P1.60 to P133.30.

    PLDT Inc. was down P10 to P1,395. International Container Terminal Services Inc. was up P0.10 to P107.10. Manila Electric Co. was down P8.80 to P269.80.