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Stocks decline on risk-off sentiment, as the peso ends flat.

The major index of the local bourse closed in the red once more on Tuesday due to risk-off attitudes, and the local currency finished flat versus the US dollar.

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To reach 6,791.24 points, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 0.69 percent or 47.52 points.

To reach 3,631.65 points, All Shares dropped 11.31 points or 0.31 percent.

All sectoral indices likewise ended the day in the red, with Property leading the pack after falling by 0.93 percent.

Holding Companies lagged it by 0.70%, Financials by 0.52%, Services by 0.33%, Mining, and Oil by 0.28%, and Industry by 0.15 %.

969.2 million shares, or a meager PHP7.37 billion, were traded.

At 103 to 84, decliners outnumbered gainers while 43 shares remained the same.

According to Luis Limlingan, head of sales at Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC), “Investors continued to stay away from the local equities market on concerns over the approaching monetary policy-setting meeting of the MB (Monetary Board).”

On February 16, the policy-making MB of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will have its first rate-setting meeting of the year, and it is widely anticipated that it would increase key rates by at least 25 basis points.

International oil prices increased, according to Limlingan, “as the market considered Russian supply cuts amid demand uncertainties.”

The price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 0.5 percent to USD80.14 per barrel, while Brent crude oil futures advanced by 0.3 percent to USD86.61 per barrel.

The local currency fluctuated from its previous day’s close of 54.76 to today’s closing rate of 54.83 to the US dollar.

It started the day at 54.67, down from the previous session’s opening price of 54.5.

It fluctuated between 54.96 and 54.64, averaging 54.784.

Volume fell from USD 955.85 million in the prior session to USD 848.27 million.

During the day’s currency trading, investors cited a number of factors that they were considering, including expectations for the BSP rate decision, the US dollar’s correction, geopolitical tensions between the US and China, and the recent tensions in the West Philippine Sea following the use of military-grade laser light by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel against a Philippine Coast Guard ship transporting supplies to the Philippine Navy in Ayungin Shoal.

According to Michael Ricafort, chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), the peso would fluctuate on Wednesday between 54.75 and 54.95 to the US dollar.

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