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After a new Fed rate hike, stocks rise and the peso ends in the negative

Despite yet another increase in the Federal Reserve’s main interest rates and a sideways closing for the peso against the dollar, all counters in the local exchange completed the day with gains.

To reach 6,680.77 points, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) eked out a 1.12 percent gain or 74.08 points.

All Shares increased by 0.77 percent, or 27.24 points, to 3,552.42 points in the period that followed.

Property increased by 1.61 percent, followed by Industrial with a 1.37 percent increase, Financials with a 1.33 percent increase, Mining and Oil with a 1.16 percent increase, Holding Firms with a 0.59 percent increase, and Services with a 0.24 percent increase.

592.68 million shares, or PHP3.2 billion, were traded.

“Investors continued to buy into the market ahead of the Philippine CPI (consumer price index) report tomorrow morning, and after the Fed (Federal Reserve) hiked rates by another 25 basis points and investors’ fears of contagion in the regional bank space returned,” said Luis Limlingan, head of sales for Regina Capital Development Corp.

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rates to between 5 percent and 5.25 percent following its two-day meeting on May 2 and 3.

Limlingan cited the FOMC’s indication that rate-tightening actions would likely cease after the statement released following the FOMC meeting did not contain the phrase “the committee anticipates that some additional policy firming may be appropriate.”

The peso fluctuated throughout the day versus the dollar, finishing at 55.35 as opposed to 55.335 the day before.

It started the day at 55.2, up from the previous session’s opening price of 55.34, traded between 55.38 and 55.13, and ended up with an average price of 55.201.

From USD1.05 billion on Wednesday, volume increased to USD1.37 billion.

According to Michael Ricafort, chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., the Fed rate increase is widely anticipated, but markets have taken notice of the shift in the Fed’s post-meeting statement.

He also cited Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Fed, who said that the inflation outlook for the FOMC does not support rate decreases.

The anticipated range for the currency pair’s trading on Friday is 55.25 to 55.45.

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