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PSE index inches up in thin trade amid weak peso

THE MAIN INDEX inched higher on Monday amid weak trading as the peso closed at the P54-per-dollar level and with US markets closed for a holiday.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 2.38 points or 0.03% to close at 6,333.94 on Monday, while the broader all shares index went down by 7.17 points or 0.21% to 3,387.78.

“The stock market opened the week in a listless mood after the Philippine peso fell against the US dollar. The local stock barometer managed to post a slight gain after trading within a narrow band. The peso declined on Monday to its lowest level in more than three years due to the general strength of the greenback on the aggressive monetary stance from the Federal Reserve,” Papa Securities Corp. Equities Strategist Manny P. Cruz said in a Viber message.

The peso closed at P54.065 versus the greenback on Monday, shedding 31.5 centavos from its previous finish of P53.75. This was the first time the peso ended at the P54-per-dollar level since its P54.08 close on Oct. 15, 2018.

“Local trading was lethargic as US stocks will be on holiday today and as the global markets await US Federal Reserve’s chairman’s semiannual monetary policy testimony before the US Senate Banking Committee and before the US House Financial Services Committee on June 23,” Mr. Cruz added.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan likewise said the Philippine market saw a quiet start to the trading week as Wall Street was closed for a holiday.

“Last Friday, sentiment improved after traders parsed comments from Federal Reserve officials who reiterated that the central bank needs to do more to curb the hottest inflation in 40 years,” he said.

US financial markets are closed on June 20 in commemoration of Juneteenth or the end of slavery in the world’s largest economy.

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller on Saturday said he would support another 75-basis point (bp) hike at their July review amid rising inflation.

Majority of the sectoral indices ended in the red except for holding firms, which gained by 53.08 points or 0.91% to 5,841.09, and industrials, which rose by 4.79 points or 0.05% to 8,789.96.

Meanwhile, property declined by 34.48 points or 1.16% to 2,933.96; mining and oil fell by 114.33 points or 0.98% to 11,470.63; services gave up 11.50 points or 0.67% to end at 1,696.11; and financials lost 1.05 points or 0.06% to close at 1,553.53.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 108 versus 81, while 52 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover decreased to P3.57 billion on Monday with 764.92 million shares changing hands from the P11.71 billion with P917.40 million issues seen on the previous trading day.

Net foreign selling went down to P215.28 million on Monday from the P292.27 million seen on Friday. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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