REBOUNDS. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) recovers on Friday (April 8, 2022) as investors continue to digest hawkish Federal Reserve officials' statements on policy rates. However, the peso depreciated against the US dollar after a jump in 10-year US Treasury yields. (Photo file photo)

MANILA – The main equities index recovered and rose to the 7,000-level on Friday but the peso weakened against the US dollar following the decline in the prices of oil in the international market. 
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 1.33 percent, or 91.99 points, to 7,018.02 points. 
It was trailed by all other indices, with the All Shares up by 1.03 percent, or 38.22 points, to 3,739.45 points. 
Services led the sectoral gauges with a rise of 2.45 percent, followed by the Property, 1.90 percent; Financials, 1.51 percent; Mining and Oil, 1.41 percent; Industrial, 1.16 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.03 percent. 
Volume was thin at 659.97 million shares amounting to PHP4.2 billion. 
Advancers led decliners at 101 to 66, while 54 shares were unchanged.
“Philippine shares bounced back to close above 7,000 as investors continued to mull a hawkish readout of minutes from the Fed’s (Federal Reserve) last policy-setting meeting that suggested more aggressive monetary tightening is underway,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales, said.
Last March, the Fed hiked its key policy rates by 25 basis points, the first since December 2018. 
This, after inflation rose to its four-decade high of 7.5 percent last January and further accelerated to 7.9 percent last February.
Limlingan said investors are also monitoring the Ukraine-Russia war after the former requested more weapons from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
He cited reports saying the European Union (EU) and the US are considering a ban on Russian coal. 
Also, the US Senate passed a bill banning Russian oil and gas imports, which resulted in the drop in the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 0.6 percent to USD96.03 per barrel and the Brent crude oil by 0.5 percent to USD100.58 per barrel. 
Meanwhile, the peso weakened against the US dollar after it finished the week at 51.59 from 51.42 a day ago. 
It opened the day at 51.45, sideways from the previous day’s 51.37. 
It traded between 51.62 and 51.45, bringing the day’s average to 51.528. 
Volume reached USD1.056 billion, higher than the previous day’s USD885.5 million.   
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort, in a reply to questions from the Philippine News Agency, traced the peso’s weakness to the increase in the yield of the benchmark 10-year US Treasury to a new three-year high “breaching above 2.60 percent levels amid recent hawkish Fed signals that led to a stronger gauge of the US dollar vs. major global currencies to near two-year highs.”
However, Ricafort said the greenback’s strength was countered by the drop in the prices of oil in the international market. 
He said the peso’s major support level in the last five months is around 50.85 to 50.95 levels. 
For next week, Ricafort forecasts the peso to trade between 51.30 to 51.70 against the US dollar. (PNA)