PESO UP, STOCKS DOWN. The Philippines’ main equities index slipped anew on Friday (May 26, 2023) due mainly to investors' wait-and-see stance for the results of the debt ceiling talks in the US. The peso however was able to appreciate against the US dollar in part due to a decline in global oil prices. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The local bourse’s main index ended the week on the negative as investors remain on stand-by mode for the results of the debt ceiling talks in the US, but the peso gained against the US dollar as it climbed to the 55-level.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined for the second consecutive day after it shed 0.46 percent, or 30.02 points, to 6,530.20 points.

All Shares followed with a decline of 0.25 percent, or 8.71 points, to 3,488.08 points.

Most of the sectoral gauges also slipped during the day, namely Services, 1.25 percent; Financials, 0.89 percent; Property, 0.37 percent; Industrial, 0.06 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.04 percent.

Only the Mining and Oil index gained during the day after it rose by 0.15 percent.

Volume reached 1.05 billion shares amounting to PHP4.55 billion.

Losers led advancers at 98 to 79 while 37 shares were unchanged.

“The index closed at 6,530.92 (points) in today’s session as Wall Street still continues to watch developments on the debt ceiling negotiations, and also as the MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) rebalancing closes in,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales, said.

He said gold prices also went down in the international market, by 0.6 percent, “on lowered demand for the bullion as optimism on the debt ceiling grows.”

Similarly, oil prices are on the same trend, with Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) down by nearly 4 percent, as Russia downplayed the prospects of OPEC+ production cuts.

Meanwhile, the peso regained its footing and closed the day at PHP 55.79 against the greenback, an improvement from the previous session’s 56.065.

It opened the day at 56.03, weaker than the previous session’s 55.79 start.

It gained to as much as 55.67 but also moved to 56.05, resulting in an average of 55.833.

Volume reached USD986.2 million, down from Thursday’s USD1.64 billion.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the local currency corrected to its among two-week lows due partly to the drop in global oil prices, which in turn is seen to lessen pressures on inflation.

He forecasts the peso to trade between 55.50-56.00 to the dollar next week, with the range for Monday projected between 55.70-55.90.

He said the next important support level for the peso is between 55.50-55.60 levels.

He noted that in the past four months, the local currency’s support level is between 54.70-55 levels, which, he said, “protect the structural integrity of the underlying upward trend since February 3, 2023.” (PNA)