Positive sentiment again lifts peso, stock market

THE peso and the stock market gained further on Friday with sentiment said to be still buoyed by a Monetary Board decision to keep interest rates unchanged and also trim inflation forecasts.

The currency rose by 12 centavos to P55.67 against the dollar while the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index added 20.41 points, or 0.33 percent, to end the week at 6,211.89.

The broader All Shares inched up by 0.31 percent, or 10.28 points, to 3,324.77.

Claire Alviar, research associate at Philstocks Financial Inc., said sentiment was boosted following the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) having kept interest rates steady and “downwardly revised its inflation projections for 2023, 2024 and 2025.”

Investors are currently responding favorably to inflation slowdowns here and in the United States, she added, as this had raised the likelihood of continued rate hike pauses.

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Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan also said the bourse closed higher as “investors looked deeper into the implications of the recent BSP’s monetary policy decision on the economy.”

The peso opened trading at P55.68:$1 and ranged from P55.62 to P55.69. Volume reached P1.177 billion, down from P1.276 billion in the previous session.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said lower crude prices and a slight downward correction for the dollar against major currencies contributed to the peso’s strengthening.

At the stock market, sectoral results were mixed with industrials leading gainers with a 0.92-percent rise and property falling the most by 0.22 percent.

Volume improved to just over 461.7 million shares worth some P4.9 billion.

Decliners edged out advancers, 88 to 80, while 53 were unchanged.