Stocks up again on hopes of slower rate hikes

The local stock market ended slightly higher on the strength of banking stocks amid optimism over policy rates.

The main index added 20.19 points or 0.31 percent to close at 6,530.51 as Banks led the advance although the Industrial and Property counters retreated. Volume was relatively stable at 664 million shares worth P5.89 billion as losers beat gainers 94 to 87 wiyh 49 unchanged.

“Philippine shares sustained the rally as investors parsed through the latest FOMC meeting minutes, which pointed to a slowdown in Fed’s tightening in the coming months,” said Regina Capital Development Corporation Managing Director Luis Limlingan.

In line with this, he noted that, “treasury yields ticked lower, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield trading at around 3.696 percent, or about 6bps lower. The yield on the 2-year Treasury was down 3.4bps at 4.483 percent.”

Philstocks Financial Research Manager Japhet Tantiangco said “The market’s sideways movement ended in the positive territory driven by expectations of a slow down in the Federal Reserve’s and consequently, the BSP’s monetary tightening.”

He added that, “This came following the release of the Fed’s latest Minutes of the Meeting which shows that officials are leaning to smaller rate hikes in the near future.”

“Foreign funds also helped in the gains with foreign transactions registering a net inflow of P5.51 billion. This comes amid the Peso’s strengthening,” Tantiangco said.

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