PH stocks flat, peso down ahead of US inflation report

PH stocks flat, peso down ahead of US inflation report

MANILA — Local shares ended Wednesday almost flat ahead of the release of the United States inflation rate for September but the peso weakened against the greenback.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.11 percent, or 6.26 points, to 5,853.63 points.

All Shares followed with a jump of 0.10 percent, or 3.14 points, to 3,155.58 points.

Half of the sectoral gauges also increased during the day, namely Holding Firms, 0.25 percent; Property, 0.16 percent; and Industrial, 0.14 percent.

On the other hand, Mining and Oil fell by 0.44 percent, Financials by 0.19 percent, and Services by 0.10 percent.

Volume reached 1.27 billion shares amounting to PHP3.7 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 87 to 82, while 55 shares were unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales, said investors were also on a wait-and-see stance for the release of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting last September.

He also cited the drop in US equities as well as the rise in bond yields after the “BoE (Bank of England) said its market intervention would be over soon and pension funds have just three days to rebalance position.”

Oil prices fell as investors weighed the consequence of a recession against potentially lower oil supply.

Meanwhile, the peso weakened against the US dollar and closed the day at 58.965 from 58.865 a day ago.

It opened the day at 58.95, sideways from its 58.97.

It traded between 58.999 and 58.888, resulting in an average of 58.962.

Volume reached USD505.37 million, lower than the previous day’s USD642.35 million.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort traced the peso’s performance to hawkish signals from Federal Reserve of Cleveland President Loretta Mester, who cited the need to hike further as inflation is not yet under control.

He said downward revision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of the global growth forecast for next year from 2.9 percent to 2.7 percent also affected investors’ sentiment.

These factors are, however, countered by the statement of support by the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) to the central bank’s moves against speculative activities, among others.

Ricafort said denial by the Chinese Embassy in Manila about the Philippines being blacklisted as a tourist destination because of the crimes related to operations of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) also supported the peso.

For Thursday, he forecasts the peso to trade between 58.80 to 59.00 to a US dollar.(PNA)

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