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PH stocks index rises, but the peso finishes flat.

The main equity index recovered on Tuesday as risk appetite returned to the local stock exchange, and the peso ended the day in a sideways movement vs. the US dollar.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), which had a rough start to the week, finished the second trading day up 1.01 percent, or 65.75 points, to 6,588.90 points.

All Shares increased by 0.81 percent, or 28.26 points, to 3,519.36 points in the following period.

Most sectoral indices saw gains throughout the day, with gains of 1.21 percent for holding companies, 1.01 percent for industrials, 0.94 percent for real estate, 0.51 percent for financials, and 0.46 percent for services.

Only Mining and Oil, which fell by 1.27 percent, finished in the red.

A total of 2.7 billion shares, or PHP5.18 billion, were traded.

With 94 to 91 in favor of advancers, 53 shares remained unchanged.

According to Luis Limlingan, head of sales at Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC), “After the two consecutive selloffs, the local bourse was able to bounce today, settling at 6,588.90 points as the US market assesses ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.”

Given that the world’s largest economy is expected to begin missing payments as early as June 1, discussions between the White House and US lawmakers about the debt cap are at a crucial point.

On the local front, investors are waiting and watching for the rate decision made on Thursday by the policy-making Monetary Board (MB) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Oil prices continued to rise; Brent crude futures increased by 1.4 percent to USD75.23 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 1.5 percent to USD71.11 per barrel. This increase was “bolstered by the prospect of tightening supplies in Canada and elsewhere.”

However, the peso ended in a flat range against the US dollar 56.03, down from 56.07 on Monday.

It opened at PHP 55.97 to the dollar and fluctuated between 56.22 and 55.97, averaging 56.117 for the day.

Volume increased to USD1.3 billion from USD1.28 billion in the prior session.

Michael Ricafort, the chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), attributed the peso’s performance to the probability of a pause in the BSP’s rate-tightening actions and the potential reduction of banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR).

On May 18, the MB will hold its rate-setting meeting. The MB has already raised the central bank’s benchmark interest rates by 425 basis points since May 2022 to combat the growing inflation rate.

Some economists said that the central bank has room to maintain stable interest rates because the rate of price increases has been dropping for three straight months, reaching 6.6 percent as of last April.

The peso is expected to trade between PHP55.90 and PHP56.10 to the US dollar on Wednesday.

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