WORRIES. Philippines' main equities index again ended the trade sideways ahead of the Federal Reserve's Dec. 13-14 policy meeting. Relatively, the peso slipped against the US dollar due to correction after its appreciation last week. (PNA graphics) 

MANILA – Foreign selling resulted in another flat close for the local bourse’s main index on Tuesday but the peso depreciated against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended in the red after slipping by 0.04 percent, or 2.82 points, to 6,582.38 points.

All Shares followed with a decline of 0.16 percent, or 5.34 points, to 3,431.65 points.

Half of the sectoral indices also slipped during the day namely Mining and Oil, 1.31 percent; Holding Firms, 0.89 percent; and Industrial, 0.18 percent.

On the other hand, Property gained by 0.98 percent, Financials by 0.36 percent, and Services by 0.16 percent.

Volume was thin at 705.24 million shares amounting to PHP5.42 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 113 to 68 while 43 shares were unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales, has repeatedly cited concerns on further hikes in the Federal Reserve’s key rates as among investors’ worries and are affecting the local equities market.

The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will have its meeting on December 13-14 and it is widely expected to increase key rates by 50 basis points.

Relatively, the local currency ended the day at 55.9, weaker than its 55.65 close against the US dollar on Monday, which Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said remains a healthy correction following the local unit’s appreciation last week.

Its weakness showed early on when it opened the trade at 55.64 from 55.4 a day ago.

It traded between 55.92 and 55.6, resulting to an average of 55.815.

Volume reached USD1.12 billion, nearly twice the USD683.95 million in the previous session.

Ricafort traced the peso’s performance to the net foreign selling in the local bourse during the day, the correction of oil prices in the international market after its slide in the past days, and the rise of the 10-year US Treasury yield to its one-week highs.

He said these factors were, however, countered by the new record high exports for the Philippines last October, which the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday to have grown by 20 percent year-on-year, exceeding the 7.5 percent annual growth of imports.

For Wednesday, the local currency is seen to trade between 55.80-56.00 to a US dollar. (PNA)