MIXED. The local stock barometer ended Tuesday (Feb. 14, 2023) down anew ahead of the policy rate setting meeting of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) Monetary Board (MB) on Thursday (Feb. 16). On the other hand, the peso managed to keep its footing against the US dollar and ended the day sideways. (PNA graphics)

MANILA – Risk-off sentiments resulted in another negative close of the local bourse’s main index on Tuesday while the local currency ended sideways against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.69 percent or 47.52 points, to 6,791.24 points.

All Shares slipped by 0.31 percent, or 11.31 points, to 3,631.65 points.

All the sectoral gauges also finished the day in the negative territory, led by Property after it fell by 0.93 percent.

It was trailed by Holding Firms, 0.70 percent; Financials, 0.52 percent; Services, 0.33 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.28 percent; and Industrial, 0.15 percent.

Volume was thin at 969.2 million shares amounting to PHP7.37 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 103 to 84 while 43 shares were unchanged.

“Investors continued to stay away from the local equities market on concerns over the upcoming monetary policy setting meeting of the MB (Monetary Board),” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) policy-making MB will have its first rate-setting meeting for the year on Feb. 16 and it is widely expected to raise key rates by at least 25 basis points.

Oil prices in the international market rose “as the market weighed Russian supply cuts amid demand fears,” Limlingan said.

Brent crude oil futures increased by 0.3 percent to USD86.61 per barrel and the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 0.5 percent to USD80.14 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the local currency ended the day at 54.83 to a US dollar, sideways from its 54.76 close a day ago.

It opened the day at 54.67, weaker than its 54.5 start in the previous session.

It traded between 54.96 and 54.64, resulting in an average of 54.784.

Volume declined to USD848.27 million from the previous session’s USD955.85 million.

Anticipations for the BSP rate decision, correction of the US dollar, geopolitical concerns between the US and China and the recent tensions in the West Philippine Sea after a military-grade laser light was directed by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel to a Philippine Coast Guard ship bringing supply to the Philippine Navy in Ayungin Shoal were cited as among the factors weighed in by investors during the day’s currency trading.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort forecasts the peso to trade between 54.75 to 54.95 to a US dollar on Wednesday. (PNA)