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The PH peso rises to P57 levels, but the stock gauge declines.

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Prior to the long weekend holiday, the Philippine peso appreciated versus the US dollar, while the main index of the local stock market concluded lower after rising for the majority of the week.

The local currency increased to PHP57.97 from PHP58.22 at the Thursday closing rate, which according to an economist is the strongest since September 20 when it reached PHP57.48.

The price ranged from PHP58.3 (day’s opening price) to PHP57.82 (peak price). The day’s average level was PHP58.047.

Volume decreased from USD1.08 billion in the previous session to USD912.35 million.

According to Michael Ricafort of Rizal Commercial Banking Cor., “the stronger peso exchange rate recently has been largely attributed to the expected seasonal increase in OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) remittances and conversion to pesos that are needed to finance travel and another holiday-related spending ahead and during the long holiday weekend as more Filipinos travel to their respective provinces/hometowns, have reunions, or take vacations during the long holiday weekend break.”

Travel from the weekend to the non-working holidays on October 31 and November 1 is anticipated to increase spending, according to Ricafort, “considering the pent-up demand after travel/tourism restrictions have finally been eased after more than two years of restrictions since the pandemic started in early 2020.”

He attributed the US dollar’s depreciation, which is thought to “potentially reduce the aggressiveness of further Fed (Federal Reserve) rate hikes in the quest to significantly bring down elevated US inflation/CPI (consumer price index) from 40-year highs recently,” to the improvement in the peso’s performance.

Oil futures are still rising, although Ricafort noted that prices are still close to nine-month lows.

This would be good for the local currency because it “may help decrease the country’s trade deficit/net imports from record levels in recent months and could also assist ease inflationary pressures,” he said.

On November 2, when trading will resume, Ricafort anticipates that the currency pair will trade between PHP57.75 and PHP58.05.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, on the other hand, lost 1.24 percent, or 77.15 points, to finish its three-day surge at 6,153.43 points.

All Shares fell 25.09 points, or 0.76 percent, to 3,257.29 points after that.

The majority of the sectoral gauges also decreased throughout the day, including Property (2.59%), Mining and Oil (2.56%), Holding Firms (1.59%), Services (0.60%), and Industrial (0.36%);

After increasing by 0.55 percent, only Financials had gained for the day.

With 421.67 million shares changing hands for PHP4.21 billion, volume remained low.

95 shares were unchanged, compared to 70 shares that advanced.

The main index’s decline following its ascent over the barrier level of 6,200 yesterday, according to Luis Limlingan, head of sales at equity firm Regina Capital Development Corporation, “looks to be a totally technical reaction after three straight days of climbing,”

Since it was also the end of the month, profit takers probably locked up gains, he said.

The fifth consecutive month of net foreign portfolio outflows for the country in September, totaling to USD367 million, was also mentioned. He also mentioned the low activity during the day’s trade and ahead of the long weekend holiday.

In comparison, he stated that there was less anxiety over lagging Chinese demand as global oil prices rose, “continuing the previous day’s surge, as excitement over record US crude exports and evidence that recession concerns are abating.”

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