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PSEi, peso up anew

Optimism on the United States’ retail sales as well as domestic output this year lifted sentiments in the local bourse, which also benefited the local currency on Wednesday.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) sustained its climbed and rose by 1.15 percent, or 80.82 points, to 7,094.86 points.

All Shares followed with a jump of 0.95 percent, or 34.59 points, to 3,692.51 points.

All the sectoral gauges also gained during the day, led by the Services after it inched up by 3.36 percent.

It was trailed by the Industrial, 1.49 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.78 percent; Financials, 0.60 percent; Property, 0.54 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.33 percent.

Volume declined to 991.91 million shares amounting to PHP7.99 billion.

Gainers led losers at 124 to 82 while 47 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine shares continued their ascent closer to the 7,100 level as traders are anticipating a slew of economic reports Wednesday, including the latest data for the PPI (producer price index) and the retail sales,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC), head of sales, said.

He said expectations point to a 0.1 percent decline for the PPI in December 2022, a turnaround from month-ago’s 0.3 percent rise, while retail sales are projected to have went down by 1 percent.

Oil prices, meanwhile, sustained their rise “buoyed by hopes for a demand rebound in China,” Limlingan said.

Brent crude oil prices rose by 1.7 percent to US$85.92 per barrel and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 0.4 percent to US$80.18 per barrel.

Gains in the local bourse were mirrored by the local currency, which improved to 54.62 to a US dollar from 54.82 finish on Tuesday.

It opened the day at 54.8, weaker than its 54.6 start in the previous session.

It traded between 55.01 and 54.57, resulting in an average of 54.829.

Volume increased to USD1.43 billion from the previous session’s USD1.37 billion.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort traced the peso’s appreciation to the weakening of the US dollar, the continued rise of the PSEi, Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) decision to keep its monetary policy settings, and positive outlook on the Philippine economy’s output this 2023.

“Market sentiment locally also supported by lower individual income tax rates starting January 2023 for most income brackets as part of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law,” he said.

Among others, the revised schedule for 2023 under the TRAIN law still exempts individuals earning PHP250,000 annually from paying personal income tax but for those earning PHP800,000 and below it was reduced compared to their taxes from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2022.

Ricafort said the lower income tax rates for individuals under the TRAIN law “could lead to increased consumer spending, which accounts for at least 70 percent of the economy.’

“(This) in turn, lead to faster economic/GDP (gross domestic product) growth, as well as higher sales, earnings/net income, and overall investment valuations for some listed companies; to also help ease the adverse effects of higher prices/inflation recently,” he added.*PNA

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