PSEi rises anew on slower inflation; peso weakens

PSEi rises anew on slower inflation; peso weakens

MANILA – The local bourse’s main index improved anew on Wednesday, a day after the release of a slower inflation rate for February, but the peso weakened against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained by 0.10 percent, or 6.37 points, to 6,711.49 points.

On the other hand, All Shares went down by 0.13 percent, or 4.55 points, to 3,585.66 points.

Half of the sectoral indices gained during the day — Financials, 1.03 percent; Services, 0.19 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.06 percent.

On the other hand, Mining and Oil shed 2.86 percent; Property, 0.96 percent; and Industrial, 0.28 percent.

Volume reached 870.39 million shares amounting to PHP5.5 million.

Decliners led advancers at 120 to 72 while 46 shares were unchanged.

Meanwhile, the peso further weakened against the US dollar and closed the day at 55.32 from Tuesday’s 55.00 close.

The local currency opened the day at 55.3, a depreciation from its 55.03 start in the previous session.

It traded between 55.48 and 55.24, resulting in an average of 55.397.

Volume reached USD1.02 billion, up from USD896.8 million a day ago.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort traced the peso’s depreciation partly to the drop in the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) last February, the correction of the US dollar against major currencies and the hawkish signals from Federal Reserve officials.

On Tuesday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that the foreign reserves of the country slipped to USD99.3 billion as of end-February this year from USD100.7 billion at the end of the previous month.

The decline has been attributed to the national government’s withdrawals of its deposits with the central bank to pay its foreign currency-denominated liabilities and the downward adjustments of the BSP’s gold holdings.

Ricafort said the peso remains stable against the greenback amid its weakening, due in part to the continued rise of the PSEi, which was boosted by the report about the slight slowdown of the inflation rate last February to 8.6 percent from January’s 8.7 percent.

For Thursday, the local currency is expected to trade between 55.25 and 55.45 to the greenback. (PNA)

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