Stock market gains but peso falls vs dollar

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The peso and the stock market reversed directions on Tuesday, the former declining against the dollar and the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) again aiming to breach 7,100.

The currency weakened by 19 and a half centavos to P54.63:$1.

The PSEi, meanwhile, added 39.86 points or 0.57 percent to close at 7,081.36. The broader All Shares gained 16.28 points or 0.44 percent to 3,702.76.

Fourth quarter and full-year gross domestic product growth results due this morning are expected to influence today’s results.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., described the peso’s fall as a healthy correction. He noted that the currency was still in a better position than it was a few months ago.

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As for the stock market, Ricafort said news that third quarter growth had not been revised from 7.6 percent had provided a boost, overcoming the announcement that farm output had contracted by 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter.

Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan, meanwhile, said “Philippine shares closed higher stronger on the back of a strong Microsoft earnings in the US, which boosted sentiment in the technology sector amid fears of a recession.”

Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Claire Alviar said investors were also hopeful that inflation would continue to ease.

“Many investors were still seen on the sidelines as the market participation continued to weaken, registering a net value turnover of P4.82 billion, lower than this month’s average so far of P6.19 billion,” Alviar said.

“Many investors are also watching for the upcoming PSEi rebalancing,” she added.

“Chart-wise, our support remains at 6,800 while resistance is pegged at the 7,000-7,100 level.”

The peso opened trading at P54.75 and ranged from P54.53 and P54.79. Total volume reached $1.019 billion, lower than the $1.052 billion in the previous session.

At the stock market, all sectors closed in the green with the exception of mining and oil, which fell by 0.48 percent. Services gained the most by 1.10 percent.

A total of 1.864 billion shares worth P5.75 billion changed hands.

Gainers outnumbered losers, 100 to 89, while 48 remained unchanged.