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PSEi sustains 6-7K levels for 12 yrs; peso ends 2023 strong

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An economist said the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was able to sustain the 6,000 to 7,000 levels from 2012 to 2023, while the Philippine peso closed the year as one of the top performing currencies in the region.

For the last day of trading in 2023, the PSEi dropped 60.07 points, or 1.06 percent, to 6,450.04.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said Friday’s closing was among the highest levels for the past four and a half months.

The local index ended the year lower by 106.35 points from its closing in 2022 of 6,556.39 but nevertheless, “generally steady at 6,000 to 7,000 levels since 2012,” Ricafort added.

“Offsetting positive factors, global crude oil prices slightly eased from three-week highs, among five-month lows and also among two-year lows that could still help ease headline inflation towards the BSP’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) target range of 2 to 4 percent,” he noted.

Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan also said investors were on profit-taking on the last day of trading for the year, causing the local bourse to close in the red territory.

“Philippine shares were sold down as funds took profit to close out 2023. The month of December saw modest gains of 3.64 percent, but year-to-date the index fell 1.77 percent,” Limlingan said.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. assistant research manager Claire Alviar added that the decline in the PSEi mirrored the trend in most Asian markets “as investors sought to secure gains ahead of the long weekend.”

Broader All Shares also ended in the red at 3,424.59, losing 16 points, or 0.47 percent.

Among sectoral indices, Mining and Oil gained the most on Friday’s trading, jumping by 198.74 points to 10,000.43. This is followed by Industrial, up by 67.70 points; Services, up by 11.65 points; and Financials, up by 2.05 points.

Holding Firms and Property were this day’s losers, with shares down 215.60 and 24.64 points, respectively.

“The net market value turnover stood at P3.83 billion,” Alviar added.

There were 118 gainers among the index members, 78 were losers, and 49 remained unchanged.

“For 2024, the PSEi could re-test 6,700 levels and the 7,000 levels,” Ricafort said.

Meanwhile, the peso finished the year strong against the US dollar at 55.37 gaining 0.11 from Thursday’s closing of 55.48.

The local currency opened the day at 55.46 from last day’s kick-off at 55.65.

The currency traded between a low of 55.34 to a high of 55.50, bringing the average level for the day at 55.42 to a dollar.

“The peso already slightly appreciated on a year-to-date basis by 0.7 percent, still among the best performers in ASEAN/Asia since 2023 and also since 2022 after increasing by P4.76 or 9.3 percent in 2022 and by P2.98 or 6.2 percent in 2021,” Ricafort said.

The economist said for the year, the peso hit its strongest level at 54.30 on Jul. 17 and its weakest level at 56.99 on Aug. 15 and Sept. 6.

“For 2024, the US dollar-peso exchange rate could range at 54.00-57.00 levels but the peso’s performance would be a function of global crude oil prices (recently among two-year lows), easing US/global/local inflation towards central bank targets, possible Fed rate cuts that could be matched locally and could support further downward correction in the US dollar versus major global/emerging market currencies including the peso,” he added.

The volume of trade on Friday increased to USD1.32 billion from Thursday’s USD1.03 billion.*PNA

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