PSE index hits 31st record high, peso hints near-term bottom
MANILA, Philippines - As if on cue, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) main index hit another all-time high on the day the government announced a surprisingly high economic growth that made the country the fastest growing in Southeast Asia.
On Wednesday, November 28, the Philippines announced it posted a higher-than-expected 7.1% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the 3rd quarter, bringing the January to September growth to 6.5%.
The PSE index (PSEi), which has been on a record breaking spree in the past days, closed at 5,633.72 -- the 31st highest in 2012 after breaching the November 27's 5,586.45.
"Our better-than-expected GDP growth for the third quarter and the recent positive news from overseas have helped support the upward momentum of the market. We are optimistic of more growth in our market and the overall economy," PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said in a statement.
Meantime, at the foreign exchange market, the peso last traded at P40.90 against the US dollar.
On Wednesday, it traded as high as P40.855, just a few notches before it hits the previous record high of P40.85 on March 7, 2008.
Analysts have said that as the Christmas season approaches, the remittances Filipinos abroad are sending to their families in the Philippines are helping the peso appreciate.
Central bank officials said they are closely watching the local currency since a strong peso affects the cost competitiveness of Philippine-based dollar-earnings, including the exporters and the business process outsourcing firms.