Stocks dip, peso weakens ahead of inflation data

MANILA – The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended its four-day rally Thursday and this affected the local currency due in part to correction.
The main equities gauge lost 0.87 percent, or 60.27 points, to 6,882.49 points.
All Shares slipped by 0.56 percent, or 23.54 points, to 4,163.22 points.
Most of the sectoral indices also tracked the main index, led by the Mining and Oil after it fell by 1.97 percent.
Property declined by 1.29 percent, Holding Firms by 1.15 percent, Financials by 0.41 percent, and Services by 0.10 percent.
Only the Industrial index gained during the day after it rose by 0.19 percent.
Volume totaled 2.7 billion shares amounting to PHP7.11 billion.
Losers surpassed gainers at 119 to 110, while 40 shares were unchanged.
“Philippine shares edged lower after benchmark bond yields marched higher and a batch of fresh economic data suggested a more tepid rebound from the pandemic,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said.
Meanwhile, the peso ended the day at 48.62 against the US dollar from its 48.48 close a day ago.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the local currency weakened ahead of the announcement of the February 2021 domestic inflation rate and the rise in US Treasury bond yield, as well as global oil prices which rose to a 14-month high.
“Peso also weaker on some healthy profit-taking in the US stock markets to among one-month lows, that also partly led to the healthy downward correction in the local stock market (PSEi), with the latest spike in the benchmark US government bond/Treasury yields to one-year highs and amid softer US economic data on private sector jobs creation from ADP (Research Institute) and services index at the slowest in nine months,” he said.
The country’s import bill, which was on decline because of the pandemic that resulted in lesser demand for the US dollar, is seen to improve as more coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines are expected to arrive in the coming days.
Ricafort expects the peso to trade between 48.55 and 48.70 on Friday. (PNA)

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