MANILA – Both the local stock market and currency ended this week's trading strong as investors are seeing progress in the policy of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to ease inflation and the improvements in other economic data.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed Friday gaining 1.17 percent or 76.43 points to 6,606.94, with all shares increasing by 30.40 points to 3,452.44.

All counters ended the trading with gains except for Industrial, which declined by 22.25 points to 9,519.07.

Biggest increase in shares on Friday was Holding Firms index, with shares climbing by 83.10 points to 6,307.52. It was followed by Property, up by 44.62 points to 2,920.81; Mining and Oil, up by 38.76 points to 9,850.06; Services, up by 22.75 points to 1,687.91; and Financials, up by 21.06 points to 1,682.87.

Gainers surpassed decliners at 100 to 69, with 42 firms' shares remained unchanged.

Total value of trading on Friday reached PHP7.14 billion.

"The Philippine market remained upbeat as investors continued to assess the latest meeting minutes and its implications," Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales Luis Limlingan said.

He added that investors signaled that the BSP "is seeing progress in its fight against high inflation and is looking to slow the pace of rate hikes, meaning smaller ones through the end of this year and into 2023.”

The Philippine peso also closed stronger on Friday, gaining by 0.11 at the ending of peso-dollar trading.

The currency pair finished the trading at PHP 56.67 to a dollar from Thursday's closing of PHP 56.78.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said this day's closing recorded a new low in nearly three months since Sept. 1, 2022, improving from the 59-level closing rate on Oct. 3, 10, 13 and 17 this year.

Other economic data that supported the local currency include the narrowing budget deficit, improvement in net foreign portfolio investments, higher tax collections, continued appreciation of peso, and easing of oil prices among others, Ricafort said.

"For the month of November 2022, the US dollar/peso exchange rate has already eased for the second straight month (after rising for eight straight months) by -1.30 or -2.2 percent (after -0.655 or -1.1 percent in October 2022)," he added.

The peso and dollar traded between a low of PHP 56.65 to a high of PHP 56.73, averaging at PHP 56.75 to a dollar.

Volume of trade on Friday amounted to USD849 million, lower than Thursday's USD868.5 million. (PNA)