DATA-HEAVY. Economic report releases for the week make investors take a wait-and-see stance, resulting in the flat close of the Philippines' main stocks index Monday (August 1, 2022). The peso also weakened to a US dollar but an economist said this is just a correction partly on weaker manufacturing data for July. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The local stock barometer ended Monday flat ahead of several economic reports for the week while the peso slipped against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.06 percent, or 3.9 percent, or 6,312.03 points.

All Shares also dipped by 0.17 percent, or 5.9 percent, to 3,392.92 points.

Half of the sectoral indices gained during the day namely Holding Firms, 1.36 percent; Property, 1.06 percent; and Industrial, 0.95 percent.

On the other hand, Financials declined by 3.26 percent, Services by 2.03 percent, and Mining and Oil by 0.30 percent.

Volume remained thin at 434.45 million shares amounting to PHP5.16 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 92 to 85, while 55 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine investors welcomed the month with a flat start as several economic data releases scheduled for this week,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales.

Among these economic data is the Philippines’ manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for July 2022, which stood at 50.8, lower than month-ago’s 53.9 index. This is, however, remains an expansion since it came above the 50 level.

Other reports set to be released this week are June trade balance and July employment figures from the US, as well several speaking engagements among officials of the Federal Reserve.

On the local front, the July inflation report will be released on Friday along with the PSEi rebalancing report.

“Meanwhile, oil prices rose in European trading as attention turned to next week’s OPEC+ meeting and expectations that it will dash US hopes for a supply boost,” Limlingan said.

He said Brent crude oil futures for September settlement rose by USD2.89 to USD110.03 a barrel.

Also, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose by 3.4 percent to USD99.67 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the local currency weakened against the US dollar and closed the day at 55.31 from 55.13 last Friday.

It opened the day at 55.35, an improvement from its 55.75 start in the previous session.

It traded between 55.45 and 55.31, resulting in an average of 55.396.

Volume declined to USD1.05 billion from US1.58 billion previously.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the peso registered a “healthy correction” during the day due to the soft Philippine Manufacturing PMI data.

He said the latest manufacturing PMI figure is the weakest for the last six months “but offset by stronger bank loans growth to the fastest in more than two years.”

“Peso also weakened partly due to new 5.5-month highs in new Covid local cases above 5,000 per day recently, as well as the first monkeypox case detected in the country late last week,” he said.

For Tuesday, Ricafort forecasts the peso to trade between 55.15-55.40 to a dollar. (PNA)