The Philippine peso and stocks ended higher yesterday after a relatively peaceful presidential election, which may see a former action movie star and college drop-out win office. 'This was largely a sigh of relief that the elections were relatively orderly,' ING Barings research chief Joey Cuyegkeng said. The Philippine Composite Index surged strongly during the first 30 minutes of trade as early exit polls and preliminary counts showed Vice-President Joseph Estrada romping home to clear victory after a comparatively clean and trouble-free vote. However, the rally was short-lived after a computer glitch on traders' screens accidentally recorded the index down 33 points, causing the real-life trading to start following suit. When the computer error was discovered, the market recovered to close up a modest 4.56 points at 2,214.52 points. Foreign funds sat largely on the sidelines, while retail investors went on a hunt for stocks linked to friends and associates of the likely new president. Anscor Hagedorn Securities analyst Russell Ong said: 'We were expecting a more robust market given that the election went as peacefully as it did. 'But people were cautious. Maybe it's just sinking in.' The peso closed at 39.10 to the US dollar, compared with its previous close of 39.30 but off a day high of 38.40. Currency analyst Christy Tan, of Independent Economic Analysis, said: 'This was a typical post-election rally.' Eight more people died in polling-day gun fights between rival electoral camps and there were reports of harassment, ballot box tampering and numerous other tricks, although all on a significantly lower scale to what the country has suffered in the past. The chairman of watchdog group National Movement for Free Elections, Jose Concepcion, said: 'The dollar-peso would have probably fallen to 100 pesos to the dollar if we had unclean elections . . . but it will now probably settle down to what I expect is 35 pesos to the dollar.' Foreign funds are expected to remain on the sidelines for a few weeks, firstly to see whether Mr Estrada's expected victory is confirmed by the official count, and then to see how he performs when he eventually takes office. 'They still want to see the first few decisions of the new president,' Mr Cuyegkeng said. Domestic investors have proved less patient and begun hunting for stocks linked to Mr Estrada's entourage, including second and third liners. One of the beneficiaries yesterday was Ebecom Holdings, which is linked to Mr Estrada's likely finance secretary, Edgardo Espiritu. Ebecom's share price climbed 2.7 per cent. Air Philippines International also rose, by 6.4 per cent, as its owners were perceived to be supporters of Mr Estrada, brokers said.