STAYING POWER. The local bourse's main index rose on Thursday (Dec. 22, 2022) due to positive market-related reports from the United States, such as the gains in Wall Street and improvement in consumer confidence. The peso maintained its footing, boosted by the gains in the local equities market and higher remittance inflows from Filipino workers abroad in time for the Christmas celebrations. (PNA graphics)

MANILA – Local shares rose on Thursday following the improvement in Wall Street while the local currency ended almost unchanged against the United States dollar.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 0.86 percent, or 56.14 points, to 6,576.94 points.
All Shares followed with a jump of 0.66 percent, or 22.43 points, to 3,442.26 points.
Majority of the sectoral gauges also went up during the day, namely Holding Firms, 1.57 percent; Property, 0.75 percent; Services, 0.68 percent; and Industrial, 0.55 percent.
On the other hand, Mining and Oil shed by 0.37 percent and Financials by 0.30 percent.
Volume reached 3.77 billion shares amounting to PHP6.47 billion.
Gainers led losers at 97 to 77 while 53 shares were unchanged.
“Philippine shares jumped ahead a couple of days before the Christmas break as better-than-feared earnings and strong consumer confidence data pushed, which jumped to the highest level since April,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCBC) head of sales.
Reports said US consumer confidence rose in December 2022 after the index jumped to 108.3 from 101.4 in the previous month.
Limlingan said this report also boosted investors’ sentiment following the Conference Board’s report, which showed preference to services instead of buying big-ticket items.
Meanwhile, the peso ended the day at 55.09 against the greenback from its 55.10 close a day ago.
It opened the trade at 55.045, sideways from 55.1 on Wednesday.
It traded between 55.18 and 55.045, resulting in an average of 55.13.
Volume reached USD774.2 million, lower than the previous session’s USD833.7 million.
Aside from the boost provided by the seasonal inflows of remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort said the decline in oil prices in the international market compared to the level at the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the first quarter this year also helped buoy the peso.
Ricafort said the decrease in oil prices also transpired in the local market and this “help(ed) ease inflationary pressures and could also help narrow the country’s net imports/trade deficit.”
He said continued weakening of the US dollar against major global currencies due partly to the deceleration of inflation rate in the US also benefited the peso.
Ricafort projects the peso to trade between 55 to 55.20 against the US dollar. (PNA)