PSEi, peso end week stronger as BSP keeps rates steady

Both the local stock market and currency closed the week stronger a day after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) kept its policy rates steady. The Benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Friday returned to the 6,200-mark, ending at 6,211.89, higher by 20.41 points, with the broader All Shares gaining by 10.28 points to the 3,324.77 level at closing. Despite the increase, sectoral indices were mixed, with the gainers led by Industrial along with Holding Firms, and Mining and Oil, while the biggest losses was recorded by the Property counter along with Financials, and Services. 'The local bourse closed above the 6,200-mark as investors looked deeper into the implications of the recent BSP's monetary policy decision on the economy,' Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan said. On Thursday, the Monetary Board decided to maintain the key rate at 6.5 percent. 'Currently, investors are reacting positively to the slowdown in inflation, both domestically and in the US, givin g hope to the investors that both the BSP and the Federal Reserve will consider a pause in hiking interest rates,' Philstocks Financial, Inc. assistant research manager Claire Alviar added. She mentioned that the net market value turnover stood at PHP3.63 billion on Friday. Decliners outpaced gainers at 88 to 80, with 90 counters left unchanged. Meanwhile, the Philippine peso closed to a new four-month best performance at 55.67 to a US dollar. The peso was stronger this day by 0.12 from the previous day's trading. It opened the day at 55.68 and traded between a low of 55.62 to a high of 55.69, bringing the average level for the day at 55.65 to the greenback. Trade volume reached USD1.18 billion, lower than Thursday's volume of USD1.28 billion. Source: Philippines News Agency