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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Oil prices up for 3rd week in a row


MANILA - Local pump prices are set to go up again today, the third increase in as many weeks.

Oil firms announced yesterday that prices of diesel will increase by P0.40 per liter, gasoline by P0.10 per liter, and kerosene by P0.15 per liter.

According to industry sources, oil prices have gone up by 4 percent last week after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries bared its latest plan to cut production.

The world oil market monitoring of the Department of Energy noted that OPEC members output in December 2018 already declined to 32.43 million barrel per day from 33.06 million barrel per day in November last year.

Meanwhile, the DOE said it visited 115 fuel retail outlets nationwide last week to ensure the proper implementation of the second tranche of the oil excise tax.

Twenty-two of these retail outlets were located in Quezon City, 57 in other parts of Luzon, seven in the Visayas, and 29 in Mindanao.

The DOE said it also issued show cause orders to retail outlets that implemented the increase in excise taxes earlier than expected.

The agency expected the implementation of the tax hike between January 15 and February 1.

The DOE said that, as of January 17, some 1,639 retail outlets or 19 percent of the total 8,630 outlets nationwide implemented the excise tax hike under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law.

“We are vigilantly monitoring the implementation of the TRAIN law so that our consumers will be amply protected,” DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

Meanwhile, China growth concerns coupled with a lack of positive developments in US-China trade talks resulted in the sideways close for the Philippine peso and drop in the main stocks gauge yesterday.

The local currency ended the week’s first trading day at 52.8 from 52.515 against the greenback Friday last week.

It was affected by the depreciation of the yuan, which in turn, was due to reports about China’s 6.6 percent output in the 2018, the slowest since 1990, Bank of the Philippine Islands Financial Markets Group Research said in its report.

Amid the risk-off sentiment, the local currency opened the day at 52.6, sideways from the 52.4 start in the previous session.

Its opening level is the peso’s strongest level during the day while weakest is at 52.81, resulting to an average of 52.725.

Volume reached USD1.006 billion, way higher than the USD807.22 million at the end of last week.

The currency pair is seen to trade between 52.70 and 52.90 today.

Relatively, the Philippine Stock Exchange index gave up 0.49 percent, or 39.66 points, to 8,007.46 points.

Most of the other counters tracked the main gauge, with the broader All Shares down by 0.12 percent, or 5.92 points, to 4,799.00 points.

Services registered the highest drop among the sectors after it lost 1.80 percent.

It was followed by the Financials, 0.88 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.73 percent; Holding Firms, 0.51 percent; and Industrial, 0.20 percent.

Only the Property index ended the day with gains of 0.77 percent.

Volume reached 1.98 billion shares amounting to P5.7 billion.

Losers led gainers at 114 to 86 while 45 shares were unchanged.*PNA


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