RISK-ON SENTIMENTS. Positive earnings reports of major United States firms boosted investors' sentiment, sending the local bourse's main index higher. This development along with higher spending for the holidays also boosted the peso against the US dollar. (PNA graphics)

MANILA – Positive earnings reports of some large United States-based firms boosted investors’ appetite in the local bourse on Wednesday, benefiting the peso as well.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 0.97 percent, or 62.68 points, to 6,520.80 points.
All Shares followed with a  jump of 1.05 percent, or 35.43 points, to 3,419.83 points.
Most of the sectoral indices also gained during the day, led by Mining and Oil after it jumped by 3.54 percent.
It was trailed by Financials, 2 percent; Property, 1.24 percent; Holding Firms, 0.83 percent; and Industrial, 0.47 percent.
The Services index ended sideways with a drop of 0.05 percent.
Volume reached 4.36 billion shares amounting to nearly PHP6 billion.
Advancers surpassed decliners at 103 to 68 while 46 shares were unchanged.
“Philippine and regional shares rebounded, buoyed by better-than-expected corporate earnings from Nike and FedEx,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales.
Limlingan said investors are also awaiting more economic data for the remaining days of the week that include the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly measurement of nationwide home loan applications, as well as updates on existing home sales and consumer confidence data.
On the local front, he said “investors came rushing in before the Christmas break, despite having the BOP (balance of payment) in November to swing back to deficit at USD756 million.”
“The over six times wider gap was due to the serviced foreign debt while the PHP (Philippine peso) was emerging from weakest  levels against the greenback,” Limlingan added.
The local currency gained against the US dollar and closed the day at 55.1 from its 55.24 close a day ago.
It opened the day at 55.1, an improvement from its 55.4 start in the previous session.
It traded between 55.29 and 55.04, resulting in an average of 55.171.
Volume reached USD833.7 million, lower than Tuesday’s USD940.55 million.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the peso gained for the sixth straight day against the greenback, partly on holiday spending, higher remittance inflows from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and further reopening of the economy.
Ricafort said the peso also continued to strengthen amidst the upticks in global oil prices, which remained on its around one-year lows and the rise in US Treasury yields.
“Thus, the peso exchange rate has been insulated by the recent volatility in the local stock market, largely due to the seasonal surge in OFW remittances and conversion to pesos less than a week before Christmas,” he said.
For Thursday, Ricafort forecasts the peso to trade between 55 to 55.20 to a US dollar. (PNA)