Peso, stock market fall ahead of inflation news

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

THE peso and the stock market both fell at the start of the trading week as investors awaited the release of September inflation data.

The currency weakened by 20 centavos to P56.775 against the dollar while the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) shed 16.71 points, or 0.26 percent, to start the fourth quarter at 6,304.53.

The broader All Shares declined by 0.05 percent, or 1.71 points, for a 3,399.12 close.

Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director, said local shares traded quietly as the “country gears up for a fresh batch of data.”

The September consumer price index reading on Thursday will be this week’s highlight, he added, along with the latest bank lending data, unemployment, gross international reserves (GIR), and the S&P Global Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

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The PMI results released on Monday showed a rebound in domestic manufacturing activity. The jobs and GIR data will be out Friday, while the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will post lending figures on Wednesday.

Claire Alviar, Philstocks Financial Inc. assistant research manager, said “last-minute profit-taking pulled the market down.”

She said investors also unloaded some gains while waiting for September inflation data.

“The possibility that the inflation rate will be higher than August’s figure weighed on sentiment, particularly that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may raise interest rates,” she added.

The peso opened trading at P56.7:$1 and ranged from P56.67 to P56.8. Volume reached P1.152 billion, slightly lower than the P1.194 million recorded in the previous session.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp, said that the peso depreciated following news that outstanding national government debt had hit a new high.

He also noted that Treasury bill auction yields rose for the second consecutive week, putting pressure on the exchange rate.

At the stock market, only industrial and services closed in the green, gaining 0.31 percent and 0.11 percent, respectively. Property incurred the biggest loss of 0.52 percent.

Just over 591.36 million shares worth some P3.86 billion changed hands.

Advancers beat decliners, 92 to 75, while 63 were unchanged.

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