PSEi drops on Powell’s speech, peso strong

By Kris Crismundo

February 1, 2024, 6:32 pm

MANILA – Philippine shares closed weak on Thursday after the statement of United States Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that policy easing in March is unlikely.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 23.43 points to 6,623.01, with the broader All Shares, likewise, declining by 13.46 points to 3,486.03.

Except for financials, which went up by 5.44 points to 1,891.19, all counters closed in the red territory.

The largest drop was recorded in the Mining and Oil counter, plummeting by 135.42 points to 9,111.97.

“Philippine equities tumbled after Powell in his post-meeting conference discouraged investor hopes for a rate cut as soon as March,” Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan said.

The stock market’s net market value turnover for Thursday reached PHP3.64 billion, with foreign net inflows amounting to PHP460.42 million.

Losers outnumbered gainers at 118 to 46, leaving 55 firms unchanged.

Meanwhile, the Philippine peso finished strong for two consecutive days, gaining 0.12 closing at 56.16 to the US dollar from 56.28 the previous day.

It started the day strong at 56.25 from Wednesday’s opening of 56.45 before trading between a low of 56.06 and a high of 56.35.

The weighted average level for the day stood at 56.19 to the greenback.

Trade volume for the peso and the dollar increased to USD1.78 billion from USD1.18 billion volume the last day.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort forecast that the peso-dollar exchange could range from 56 to 56.20 on Friday. (PNA)