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Ahead of US economic reports, PSEi closes flat; the peso advances

The main index of the local stock exchange finished unchanged on Tuesday as investors awaited certain US economic news and the peso appreciated versus the greenback.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), which was previously 6,593.39 points, dropped by 0.08 percent (4.99 points).

To 3,506.79 points, All Shares decreased by 0.09 percent or 3.3 points.

Mining and Oil were up 0.68 percent, Industrial was up 0.29 percent, and Financials and Holding Firms were both up 0.15 percent. These three sectoral indices made up the majority of the gainers.

Services saw a 0.33 percent decline and Property a 0.62 percent decline.

A total of 741.13 million shares, worth PHP5.23 billion, were traded.

At 106 to 79, decliners outnumbered advancers, while 52 shares remained the same.

“Philippine shares closed flat as investors await earnings releases from tech names and consumer discretionary firms, as well as a slew of economic data,” stated Luis Limlingan, head of sales for Regina Capital Development Corp.

The S&P/Case-Shilller 20-city home price index for February 2023 and new home sales for March 2023 are two statistics set for release this week in the US.

Oil prices increased on the global market “as investors grew optimistic that holiday travel in China would boost fuel demand in the world’s largest oil importer.”

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained by 1.1 percent to USD78.76 per barrel, while Brent crude futures increased by 1.3 percent to USD82.73 per barrel.

In the meantime, the local currency strengthened against the dollar and closed the day at 55.54, slightly higher than the previous session’s finish of 55.77.

Its strength was evident right away after the market opened at 55.65 on Tuesday as opposed to Monday’s opening price of 55.95.

It fluctuated between 55.65 and 55.43, with a 55.567 average as a result.

Volume increased slightly from the previous session’s USD1.21 billion to USD1.27 billion.

According to Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., the peso experienced a correction for the third straight day, in part because of the recent drop in oil prices to three-week lows, its anticipated effect on domestic fuel prices and inflation, and the improvement in the dollar hedging facility offered by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

According to Ricafort, since the beginning of April, the peso-dollar exchange rates have corrected by around 2.2 percent.

The local currency is anticipated to fluctuate between 55.40 and 55.60 to the US dollar on Wednesday.

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