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Local shares up on improved regional sentiment; peso closes sideways

MANILA: The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) returned from the long Holy Week break recording new highs, while the peso closed sideways Monday. The PSEi finished the day at 6,979.81, or 1.11 percent higher than the last trading on March 26. All Shares also increased 0.80 percent to 3,63.40. Among sectoral indices, only Industrial closed in the red territory, down by 0.53 percent. Holding Firms led gainers, with shares up by 1.51 percent, followed by Financials (+1.51 percent), Property (+1.40 percent), Services (+0.27 percent), and Mining and Oil (+0.03 percent). 'The optimism in Asia, given the expansion of China's factory activity at its fastest rate in 13 months, lifted the sentiment at home. This gives hope for the recovery of China's economy which would be favorable for our economy as it affects trades and tourism in our country,' Philstocks Financial, Inc. research associate Claire Alviar said. Net market value turnover on the first trading of the second quarter reached PHP5.01 billion. Adv ancers outpaced losers at 96 to 90, with 53 left unchanged. Meanwhile, the Philippine peso closed sideways on Monday at 56.26 to a US dollar from last week's finish of 56.24 to a dollar. The peso opened the day at 56.17, stronger than the previous kick-off at 56.28. The foreign exchange rate ranged between 56.13 and 56.27 to the greenback, bringing the average level for the day at 56.18. Volume of trade fell to USD847.15 million from last week's USD1.18 billion. Source: Philippines News Agency