The local main equities index sustained its rise Tuesday while the peso ended the day sideways against the greenback. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) increased by 0.68 percent, or 46.57 points, to 6,919.54 points. All Shares followed with a jump of 0.35 percent, or 14.52 points, to 4,179.92 points. Half of the sectoral gauges tracked the main index namely the Holding Firms, which rose by 1.40 percent, and Industrial and Property, both of which increased by 1.08 percent. On the other hand, Financials slipped by 1.41 percent, Mining and Oil, 0.54 percent; and Services, 0.29 percent. Volume totaled 126.72 billion shares amounting to PHP9.89 billion. Losers led gainers at 121 to 105, while 44 shares were unchanged. “The local index climbed in a broad-based rally as stocks tied to the economic reopening jumped on vaccine optimism, while tech names rebounded from steep losses the previous month,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said. He also cited as a plus to investors’ optimism the positive developments on the Biden administration’s proposed USD1.9-trillion coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) stimulus program, which was approved by the House of Representatives over the weekend and awaiting Senate’s approval. These factors are, however, countered by rising oil prices in the international market “as fears that Chinese oil crude consumption is slowing,” he said. Limlingan said the price of Brent crude oil slipped by 81 cents to around USD63.61 per barrel and the price of US West Texas Intermediate fell by 97 cents to about USD60.53 a barrel. Meanwhile, the peso closed the day’s trading little changed against the US dollar at 48.565 from the previous day’s 48.59. It opened the day at 48.58 and traded between 48.61 and 48.5. Average level for the day stood at 48.571. Volume totaled to USD856.94 million, higher than the USD678.45 million a day ago. In a reply to e-mailed questions from PNA, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the local currency closed the day’s trade to its weakest in four months but its strongest in more than a week “amid continued optimism on the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine shots that started yesterday (March 1, 2021).” Ricafort said the start of the vaccination program “would help reduce new Covid-19 cases that would also help justify further reopening of the economy and help improve economic recovery prospects and valuations.” “The latest measures to reopen the economy such as on MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions), cinemas, museums, among others, also support the recent gains in the peso and in the local stock market, consistent with expectations on a possible MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) nationwide by April-May 2021,” he said. He forecasts the peso to trade between 48.50 to 48.60 on Wednesday.