RISK-ON. The local bourse's main index gained anew on Wednesday (March 29, 2023) amid concerns about the path of the United States economy vis-a-vis the rising interest rates. The peso kept its footing against the US dollar and ended unchanged. (PNA graphics)

MANILA – The local stock barometer closed higher Wednesday as investors worry about the impact of higher interest rates on the United States economy, while the peso ended unchanged against the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.42 percent, or 27.82 points, to 6,630.97 points.

All Shares followed with a rise of 0.28 percent, or 9.80 points, to 3,529.66 points.

Most of the sectoral gauges also gained during the day, led by Financials, which rose by 1.13 percent.

Trailing behind were Property, 0.51 percent; Holding Firms, 0.42 percent; and Mining and Oil, 0.31 percent while Services was little changed after moving up by 0.01 percent.

Only the Industrial index ended the day in negative territory after it slipped by 0.57 percent.

Volume reached 2.3 billion shares amounting to PHP13 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 100 to 76 while 55 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine shares managed to close higher even as investors became wary that higher interest rates could tip the economy into a recession, even as Wall Street tried to move past this month’s regional banking crisis,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales.

He said the yield of the two-year US Treasury returned to more than 4 percent, “weighing on interest rate-sensitive tech stocks.”

Oil prices in the international market inched up anew “on supply disruption risks from Iraqi Kurdistan and hopes that banking sector turmoil is contained.”

Limlingan said Brent crude oil futures increased by 0.79 percent to USD78.74 per barrel and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 0.71 percent to USD73.31 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the local currency ended flat against the US dollar at 54.45.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort attributed this partly to the easing of the gauge of the US dollar against major global currencies.

Ricafort said other factors that helped buoy the peso during the day were fiscal reform measures, such as the proposed merger of the government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, as well as the proposed changes in the military pension system.

He added that markets are also all eyes for the release of US personal consumption expenditure inflation gauge for February 2023, which is projected to be slower at 5.1 percent year on year against the previous month’s 5.4 percent.

For Thursday, the currency pair is expected to trade between 54.35 and 54.55. (PNA)