POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS. The main stocks index finished the week up following the positive expectations of Fitch Solutions on the country's 2022 economic output amid a slower print in the second quarter. On the other hand, the local currency weakened against the US dollar.

MANILA – The local stock barometer finished the week up partly on the positive growth expectations of Fitch Solutions on the domestic economy’s 2022 economic output but the peso weakened against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.28 percent, or 18.98 points, to 6,699.66 points.

All Shares followed with a jump of 0.38 percent, or 13.59 points, to 3,564.16 points.

Most of the sectoral indices also gained during the day, except for Property, which fell 0.23 percent.

Financials posted the biggest increase at 1.43 percent and was trailed by Mining and Oil, 0.82 percent; Services, 0.44 percent; Industrial, 0.23 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.19 percent.

Volume rose to 1.67 billion shares amounting to PHP13.76 billion.

Advancers led decliners at 119 to 77, while 46 shares were unchanged.

“Philippines shares continued the rally to close the weekend on the back of another positive US inflation report and assurance from Fitch that Philippine growth is still intact,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales.

In a report on Thursday, Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research raised its growth forecast for the Philippines for this year from 6.1 percent to 6.6 percent despite the slower output in the second quarter of the year.

The domestic economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), grew by 7.4 percent from April to June this year, slower than the previous quarter’s 8.2 percent, bringing the first half output to 7.8 percent.

Fitch Solutions said the growth print in the second quarter “was more modest than we had predicted” but is in line with its expectations.

Fitch Solutions expects the second half of the year to remain challenging but it forecast the domestic economy to churn in a growth that is within the government’s 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent target band.

Limlingan also cited as among the factors during the day’s trading the rise in oil prices in the international market after the International Energy Agency hiked its oil demand growth projection for this year, noting that rising gas prices make some people turn to oil.

On the other hand, the local currency depreciated against the US dollar and closed the day at 55.61 from 55.30 on Thursday.

It opened the day at 55.48 and traded between 55.67 and 55.42, averaging at 55.532.

Volume rose to USD1.02 billion from the previous session’s USD989.5 million.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort traced the peso’s depreciation partly to the hawkish signal from San Francisco Federal Reserve president Mary Daly, as well as the upward correction of US Treasury yields and the prices of oil in the international market.

He expects the peso to trade between 55.50 and 55.75 against the US dollar on Monday and between 55.30 and 55.75 for the whole of next week. (PNA)