MANILA – Global economic growth concerns and Federal Reserve’s key rate decisions again hit the main equities index but the local currency managed to end sideways against the US dollar after ending the day at 54-level.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed by 2.34 percent, or 147.76 points, to 6,155.43 points.
All Shares followed with a drop of 1.56 percent, or 52.89 points, to 3,336.23 points.
Most of the sectoral counters also declined during the day, namely Services, 3.87 percent; Holding Firms, 3.42 percent; Financials, 2.11 percent; and Property, 1.13 percent.
On the other hand, Mining and Oil rose by 0.90 percent and Industrial by 0.74 percent.
Volume was thin at 882.15 million shares amounting to PHP6.44 million.
Decliners led advancers at 117 to 71, while 47 shares were unchanged.
Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales, said the main index finished the quarter’s last trading day on the negative “as the street continued to search for the bottom of a vicious market sell-off.”
“Concern over a slowing economy and aggressive rate hikes consumed much of the 1H22 (first half of 2022), and fears of a recession are rising,” he said.
On the other hand, the local currency finished the day’s trade at 54.975, a tad better from its 55.06 close a day ago.
It opened the day at 55.06, also sideways from its 54.9 start in the previous session.
It traded between 54.8 and 55.14, bringing the day’s average to 54.97.
Volume reached USD1.25 billion, lower compared to the USD1.28 billion on Wednesday.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort traced the peso’s strength during the day to the drop in global crude oil prices to among its one-month lows at around USD109 per barrel.
He said the same development for the US’ benchmark 10-year Treasury, rate of which has declined to around 3.05 percent, also supported the local currency during the day.
“(The) peso also became stronger after the latest signals on the possibility of a bigger +0.50 local policy rate hike if necessary and depending on economic data,” he said.
He was referring to reports that monetary authorities might announce a higher rate hike compared to the 25 basis points each they did last May and this month to further manage the acceleration in domestic inflation rate.
He forecasts the currency pair to trade between 54.80-55.05 on Friday. (PNA)