GAINS. Both the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) and the peso finished the week up on Friday (March 3, 2023) due in part to the positive earnings report of locally listed firms and monetary authorities' assurance on their readiness to help tame the elevated inflation rate in the country. Downward correction of the US dollar also supported the peso. (PNA graphics)

MANILA – Positive earnings reports of locally listed companies helped boost the local bourse’s main index on Friday, which also benefited the peso.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.50 percent, or 32.92 points, to 6,655.37 points.

All Shares followed with a jump of 0.43 percent, or 15.24 points, to 3,564.42 points.

Most of the sectoral indices also ended the week up, led by Mining and Oil after rising by 1.67 percent.

It was trailed by Financials, 1.16 percent; Holding Firms, 0.63 percent; Industrial, 0.24 percent; and Services, 0.23 percent.

Only the Property index finished the day in the negative territory after slipping by 0.53 percent.

Volume reached 828.96 million shares amounting to PHP6.48 billion.

Advancers led decliners at 84 to 73 while 52 shares were unchanged.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said improvements in sales or earnings of listed firms provided a lift to the PSEi, as they benefited from the continued reopening of the economy.

Ricafort said improvement of the peso, assurance by local monetary authorities to tap every policy tool to help tame the elevated inflation rate and generally lower oil prices relative to year-ago levels also drove the gains in the local bourse.

He forecasts the next resistance level for the PSEi at around 7,000 to 7,100 level.

Meanwhile, the local unit gained against the US dollar after finishing the day at 54.82 from 55.01 on Thursday.

It opened the day at 54.95 and traded between 54.98 and 54.745.

The average level for the day stood at 54.833.

Volume reached USD1.29 billion, higher than the previous session’s USD1.28 billion.

Ricafort said the local currency got some support from, among others, another gain of the PSEi, assurance of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) officials regarding their readiness to implement all possible policy tools to address the elevated inflation rate and the downward correction of the US dollar.

He said the peso corrected for the second consecutive week and improved by 0.1 percent against the US dollar.

Ricafort forecasts the peso to trade between 54.60 to 55.10 next week, with the projected range of between 54.75 to 54.95 on Monday. (PNA)