EXPANSION. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained on Friday (Jan. 27, 2023) after the better-than-expected growth of the US economy in the last quarter of 2022, as well as the higher-than-expected full-year output of the Philippine economy last year. On the other hand, correction resulted in the sideways close of the peso against the US dollar. (PNA graphics) 

MANILA – The higher-than-expected expansion of the domestic economy and the United States last year lifted sentiments and helped the local bourse’s main index to finish the week higher, while the peso closed sideways against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.13 percent, or 9.46 points, to 7,052.16 points.

All Shares rose by the same rate of 0.13 percent, or 4.74 points, to 3,697.63 points.

Most of the sectoral gauges also ended the week with gains – Mining and Oil, 0.74 percent; Financials, 0.57 percent; Holding Firms, 0.41 percent; and Industrial, 0.05 percent.

On the other hand, Services slipped by 0.34 percent and Property by 0.007 percent.

Volume reached 1.12 billion shares amounting to PHP5.65 billion.

Advancers led decliners at 105 to 83 while 59 shares were unchanged.

“Philippines shares inched up higher as investors cheered a better-than-expected 4Q GDP (fourth-quarter gross domestic product) report that stoked hopes that the US economy can experience a soft landing as the Fed (Federal Reserve) hikes rates to tame inflation,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales.

The Philippine economy expanded by 7.6 percent last year even after the fourth-quarter growth slowed to 7.2 percent from the previous quarter’s 7.6 percent due largely to the impact of elevated inflation.

This output exceeded the economic manager’s 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent growth assumption for the year.

The US economy grew by 2.9 percent on an annual basis in the last quarter of 2022, higher than expectations of a 2.8 percent print.

Meanwhile, oil prices in the international market rose “on expectations that global demand would strengthen as top oil importer China reopens its economy and on positive US economic data.”

Brent crude oil futures inched up by 1.6 percent to USD87.47 per barrel and the US West Texas Intermediate by 1.1 percent to USD81.01 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the peso ended sideways against the US dollar at 54.47 from the previous day’s 54.4, which Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort traced to correction partly on expectations of continued but smaller hikes in the Federal Reserve rates.

Ricafort said the peso was buoyed by, among others, the gains of the PSEi and the easing of long-term local interest rate, which he attributed to dovish signals from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

For Monday next week, the peso is expected to trade between 54.40 and 54.60 while for the whole week, the currency pair is seen to range from 54.25 to 54.75. (PNA)