PH stocks close over 1-month high, peso follows

PH stocks close over 1-month high, peso follows

MANILA – Risk on sentiments returned to the local bourse on Monday, lifting the main index while the peso ended on positive note against the United States dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 1.83 percent, or 122.27 points, to 6,790.24 points.

All Shares followed with a jump of 1.59 percent, or 55.90 points, to 3,568.97 points.

All the sectoral counters also gained during the day, led by Mining and Oil after it rose by 3.05 percent.

It was followed by Financials, 2.21 percent; Holding Firms, 1.83 percent; Property, 1.77 percent; Services, 1.32 percent; and industrial, 1.28 percent.

Volume reached 2.46 billion shares amounting to PHP6.41 billion.

Advancers led decliners at 148 to 47 while 43 shares were unchanged.

“Investors picked up where they left off last week, as foreign buying continued to dominate the start of the year,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales.

Limlingan traced the optimism to the positive close of the US stocks at the end of last week “after an employment report showed wage gains slowed in December.”

He is referring to the jobs report from the US last Friday, which showed an increase of 223,000 payroll jobs while hourly wages grew at the slowest annual growth in 16 months.

“The report fueled hopes that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are starting to have the desired effect on the economy,” he added.

Oil prices were almost unchanged, with the Brent crude oil futures down by 0.2 percent to USD78.57 per barrel and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 0.1 percent to USD73.77 per barrel.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort traced the PSEi’s performance to the drop of oil prices in the international market.

Easing of oil prices to three-week lows “could help ease inflation and narrow the country’s trade deficit,” he said.

Gains in the local bourse were mirrored by the local currency after it ended the day at 55.11 from 55.64 at the end of last week’s trading.

It opened the day at 55.3, an improvement from last Friday’s 55.85 start.

It traded between 55.32 and 55.09, resulting in an average of 55.164.

Volume reached USD1.22 billion, higher than the previous session’s USD1.05 billion.

Ricafort traced the peso’s gains partly to the improvement of the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) to its four-month high of USD96 billion as of end-December 2022, and the ongoing multi-tranche US dollar-denominated bond offer of the Philippines. (PNA)

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