PH stocks down, peso almost flat amid global banking fears

PH stocks down, peso almost flat amid global banking fears

MANILA – The local stock barometer declined anew as investors continue to fear the impact of the banking issues in the United States and the fall of Swiss bank Credit Suisse’s shares to record low, but the peso ended the day sideways against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.95 percent, or 61.19 points, to 6,404.91 points.

All other counters also ended the day in the negative territory, with All Shares down by 1 percent, or 34.7 points, to 3,443.82 points.

Financials led the sectoral indices in terms of losses after it dipped by 1.70 percent.

It was trailed by Industrial, 1.31 percent; Mining and Oil, 1.12 percent; Services, 1.05 percent; Property, 0.73 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.40 percent.

Volume reached 1.04 billion shares amounting to PHP6.59 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 145 to 41 while 42 shares were unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales, said “fears of a widespread banking crisis” again spooked the local bourse, as news about the crash of Credit Suisse’s shares provided additional concerns following the fall of California-based Silicon Valley Bank last week.

“The statement from Credit Suisse’s largest investor, the Saudi National Bank, said it couldn’t provide additional funding for the bank sparked the sell-off,” he said.

Reports said the Swiss National Bank has offered to extend financing to Credit Suisse which said it will borrow 50 billion Swiss Francs (USD53.7 billion) from the central bank.

Limlingan said reports about the financing offered by the Swiss banking regulator helped address investors’ concerns a bit and lessened the losses in the local bourse.

Oil futures fell anew “as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank roiled (the) equities market and raised fears of a fresh financial crisis.”

However, Limlingan said the negative sentiments were countered by “a recovery in Chinese demand.”

Brent crude oil prices in the international market dropped by 2.4 percent to USD80.77 per barrel and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 2.5 percent to USD72.30 per barrel.

Amidst these developments, the peso managed to finish the day sideways against the US dollar at 55.86 from 54.95 on Wednesday.

It opened the day at 55.01 and traded between 54.85 and  55.09. The average level for the day stood at 54.972.

Volume went down to USD799 million from the previous session’s USD899.7 million.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort traded the peso’s performance partly to the decline in the prices of oil in the international market, the fall of Credit Suisse’s shares to record low after its biggest investor discounted additional funding for the Swiss bank, and the slide of US Treasury rates.

He forecasts the peso to trade between 54.75-54.95 against the US dollar on Friday. (PNA) 

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