INVESTORS’ WORRY. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed on Monday (March 20, 2023) as concerns on US' banking sector continued to worry investors. On the other hand, the peso ended sideways against the US dollar due partly to the drop in global oil prices. (PNA graphics)

MANILA – The local stock barometer declined in this week’s first trading day as collapse of two United States banks and concerns on the world’s largest economy’s banking sector continued, but the peso managed to finish the day sideways against the greenback.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.29 percent or 18.7 points, to 6,451.02 points.

All Shares also ended in the negative territory after it fell 0.22 percent, or 7.61 points, to 3,456.66 points.

Most of the sectoral indices also finished with losses, led by Financials after it declined by 1.65 percent.

It was trailed by Services, 0.38 percent; Holding Firms, 0.15 percent; and Industrial, 0.04 percent.

On the other hand, Property rose by 0.86 percent and Mining and Oil by 0.02 percent.

Volume reached 714.81 million shares amounting to PHP5.63 million.

Decliners led advancers at 99 to 73 while 55 shares were unchanged.

“Local shares slid as investors pulled back from positions in First Republic and other bank shares amid lingering concerns over the state of the US banking sector,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales.

On the local front, Limlingan said all eyes are on the decision of the policy-making Monetary Board (MB) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) during its rate-setting meeting on Thursday.

The MB is widely expected to hike the central bank’s key rates by 25 basis points.

Meanwhile, prices of oil in the international market fell “reversing early gains as banking sector fears set crude oi course for its biggest weekly decline in months.”

Both the Brent crude oil futures and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped by 2.1 percent to USD73.11 per barrel and USD66.92 per barrel, respectively.

On the other hand, the peso ended sideways against the US dollar at 54.675 from its 54.71 close last Friday.

It opened the day at 54.65, better than its 54.75 start in the previous session.

It traded between 54.7 and 54.58, resulting in an average of 54.653.

Volume declined to USD861.05 million from the USD880 million at the end of last week.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the local unit ended the day at its lowest since last Feb. 10 due partly to decline in global oil prices and the weakening of the US dollar given the ongoing issues on US banking sector.

He said the rate of the 10-year US Treasury eased to six-month low due to increased global risk aversion while net foreign buying was registered in the local bourse during the day.

For Tuesday, the peso is expected to trade between 54.60-54.80 against the US dollar. (PNA)