MIXED. Philippines' main equities index shed anew on Friday partly on negative retail sales report from the US, increasing fears for possible recession in the world's largest economy. However, the peso gained against the US dollar on greater transparency of monetary policy moves of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). (PNA file photo)  

MANILA – Weaker retail sales report from the US sustained the decline of the local bourse’s main index on Friday but the peso appreciated against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 1.07 percent, or 70.3 points, to 6,496.50 points.

All Shares followed with a drop of 0.90 percent, or 30.76 points, to 3,400.13 points.

Most of the sectoral gauges also ended on the red, namely Mining and Oil, 2.24 percent; Property, 1.90 percent; Services, 1.79 percent; Holding Firms, 0.86 percent; and Financials, 0.65 percent.

Industrial, on the other hand, rose by 0.13 percent.

Volume thinned to 558.77 million shares amounting to PHP7.31 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 99 to 65 while 40 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine shares extended their drop as investors responded to data that elevated concerns of a looming recession and looked ahead to a slate of Federal Reserve speakers scheduled for Friday,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales.

Reports said US’ retail sales registered its biggest decline in nearly a year last November when it fell 0.6 percent, a turn-around from the previous month’s 1.3 percent expansion.

Limlingan said this latest print “suggested (that) inflation is hitting consumers more than expected, fueling investors concerns that the economy is weakening.”

Relatively, oil prices reversed its path after it declined “on mounting concerns on fuel demand outlook due to a stronger greenback and further interest rate hikes by global central banks.”

Brent crude oil futures went down by 2 percent to USD81.01 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 2.3 percent to USD75.51 per barrel.

On the other hand, the peso gained against the US dollar after ending the week at 55.56 from its 55.685 close on Thursday.

It opened the day at 55.85, weaker than the previous session’s 55.85.

It traded between 55.88 and 55.56, resulting to an average of 55.709.

Volume declined to USD902.27 million from day-ago’s USD1.06 billion.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort attributed the peso’s improvement partly to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) greater transparency to further hike rates that could match future decisions of the Federal Reserve.

He said this indication by the BSP indicates “a sign of greater transparency that could support greater order, certainty, and stability in the local financial markets.”

For next week, the currency pair is seen to trade between 55.30-55.80 while the projected range for Monday is between 55.45-55.65. (PNA)