LOCAL SHARES climbed on Monday on the back of a pickup in buying as investors await more data and hints on the US Federal Reserve’s and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) next moves and amid a shortened trading week.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 23.71 points or 0.36% to close at 6,505.62 on Monday, while the broader all shares index went up by 8.77 points or 0.25% to end at 3,489.54.
“Philippine shares started the shortened trading week in the green with a new batch of economic data likely to dictate market sentiment. The key economic data release stateside is the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index on Thursday… [and] a relatively quiet week ahead here at home with the February cash remittances,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.
Philippine financial markets will be closed on April 21 due to a nonworking day for Eid al-Fitr.
Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers rose by 2.4% year on year to USD 2.57 billion in February, data released by the BSP on Monday showed.
This was lower than the USD 2.762 billion seen in January.
The value of cash remittances was also the lowest in nine months or since the USD 2.42 billion in May 2022.
For the first two months of the year, cash remittances grew by 3% year on year to USD 5.331 billion.
The BSP expects remittances to grow by 3% this year.
“We are slowly seeing investors buying this market as the index closed a little above 6,500. Investors are still awaiting the Fed’s decision whether they will pause or continue its rate hike,” Mercantile Securities Corp. Head Trader Jeff Radley C. See said in a Viber message.
“With the recent announcement of the CPI (consumer price index) locally and abroad, there are signs that the inflation is already topping out and may continue to slowly go down. The BSP signaled that they might pause on their rate hike,” Mr. See added.
The Fed will hold its next policy meeting on May 2-3, while the BSP will have its own review on May 18.
Most sectoral indices climbed on Monday except for financials, which declined by 15.01 points or 0.82% to 1,795.24, and mining and oil, which fell by 39.89 points or 0.35% to 11,072.03.
Meanwhile, holding firms went up by 57.82 points or 0.91% to 6,358.29; industrials increased by 67.15 points or 0.72% to 9,319.86; property climbed by 11.32 points or 0.41% to 2,727.60; and services rose by 3.23 points or 0.2% to 1,607.65.
Value turnover went down to PHP 4.39 billion on Monday with 1.07 billion shares changing hands from the PHP 4.62 billion with 981.38 million issues traded on Friday.
Decliners outnumbered advancers, 98 versus 82, while 61 names closed unchanged.
Net foreign selling stood at PHP 59.57 million on Monday versus the net buying worth PHP 286.76 million seen on Friday. — By A.H. Halili