MANILA – Profit-taking resulted in the negative close of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Monday but the peso finished the day sideways against the United States dollar.
The local stock barometer shed 1.27 percent, or 84.92 points, to 6,600.74 points.
All the other counters tracked the main gauge, with All Shares down by 0.86 percent, or 30.42 points, to 3,525.64 points.
Property posted the biggest drop among the sectoral gauges after it fell 2.88 percent.
It was trailed by Services, 1.31 percent; Financials, 1.13 percent; Mining and Oil, 1.07 percent; Holding Firms, 0.56 percent; and Industrial, 0.27 percent.
Volume reached 718.19 million shares amounting to PHP5.87 billion.
Decliners led advancers at 92 to 86, while 58 shares were unchanged.
“Investors turned into profit taking after a strong week in local equities last week, and ahead of the PH (Philippine) GDP (gross domestic product) later,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to release the first quarter 2023 economic performance report on Thursday.
For one, Moody’s Analytics forecasts domestic economy likely grew by 5.9 percent in the first three months this year, slower than the 7.1 percent in the last quarter of 2022.
Prices of oil in the international market rose “on the concern that the US banking crisis will slow the economy and sap fuel demand.”
Brent crude oil futures inched up by 3.9 percent to USD75.30 per barrel and the West Texas Intermediate by 4.1 percent to USD71.34 per barrel.
Meanwhile, the local currency ended the day sideways against the greenback at 55.25 from its 55.3 finish last Friday.
It opened the day at 55.4 and traded between 55.4 and 55.22. The average level for the day stood at 55.294.
Volume reached USD989.15 million, lower than the previous session’s USD1.29 billion.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort said the peso kept its footing partly due to the “slight improvement in the local employment and bank loans data.”
Earlier in the day, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported the 10.1 percent year-on-year growth of bank lending last March, little changed from the 10 percent last February.
The PSA also reported that the employment rate in March was estimated at 95.3 percent, a tad better than the 95.2 percent in February.
Unemployment rate went down to 11.2 percent in March from 12.9 percent the previous month.
Ricafort also cited as a factor during the day’s foreign currency trading the weakness in the US dollar against other major currencies.
For Tuesday, the currency pair is expected to trade between 55.15 and 55.35. (PNA)