DOWN. Both the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) and the peso ended Thursday (June 1, 2023) lower as all eyes are on the result of the discussions on the US’ debt ceiling. US authorities are rushing for the approval of the debt cap to prevent a default by the US government. (PNA graphics)

MANILA – The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined anew on Thursday ahead of United States lawmakers’ decision on the debt ceiling, a performance trailed by the local currency.

The main equities index shed 0.72 percent, or 46.78 points, to 6,430.58 points.

All Shares followed with a drop of 0.42 percent, or 14.45 points, to 3,443.85 points.

Half of the sectoral indices also finished in the negative territory – Holding Firms declining by 1.67 percent; Property, 0.85 percent; and Industrial, 0.55 percent.

On the other hand, Services gained by 0.68 percent and Mining and Oil by 0.32 percent while Financials was little changed after rising by 0.02 percent.

Volume reached 801.27 million shares amounting to PHP5.41 billion.

Decliners led advancers at 105 to 78 while 50 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine equities fell again as investors kept an eye on the federal debt ceiling debate in Washington in the final trading day of May,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales.

Limlingan said US lawmakers are rushing to approve the debt ceiling proposal by Monday next week to prevent a default by the US government.

Oil futures slipped in the international market to USD72.60 per barrel for the Brent crude and to USD68.09 for the West Texas Intermediate “pressured by a stronger US dollar and weak data from top oil importer China that fed demand fears.”

Meanwhile, the peso weakened against the US dollar and closed the day at 56.26 from its 56.15 finish on Wednesday.

It opened the day at 56.23 and traded between 56.31 and 56.15. The average level for the day stood at 56.219.

Volume went down to USD990.35 million from the previous session’s USD1.07 billion.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort traced the peso’s performance to the strengthening of the US dollar, the rise in US Treasury yields, expectations for a pause in the Federal Reserve’s rate hiking moves, and the cut in the domestic banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR).

He projected the peso to trade between 56.15 and 56.35 to the greenback on Friday. (PNA)