Easing inflation boosts local markets

MANILA – Both the peso and the stock market recovered on Tuesday, as traders cheered data showing the country’s inflation easing to a 16-month low.

The barometer Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 48.33 points, or 0.62 percent, to close at 7,910.63.

The peso appreciated slightly to 51.865 against the dollar Tuesday from previous day’s 51.925.

“Given the lower inflation during the past few months, they are expecting a more positive (economic) growth,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance Inc., in an interview.

The government reported the country’s inflation slowed down further to 3 percent in April 2019 from 3.3 percent the previous month.

Del Castillo noted the “litany of positive economic reports” boosted the local market, also citing S&P Global Rating’s upgrade of the country’s credit rating to BBB+ with a “stable” outlook, expectations of higher first-quarter economic growth figure, and possible cut in the interest rate or monetary easing by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as a result of lower inflation.

Official gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the first quarter of 2019 are expected to be released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said “investors also took refuge in the Philippine market with more tension mounting between China and the US.”

Except Industrials, all sectors closed the day in a positive territory, led by Services index which increased by 2.32 percent.

Total value turnover reached PHP5.51 billion.

Advancers led decliners, 100 to 86, while 50 issues did not change.

Meanwhile, the peso opened Tuesday at 52, stronger than its 52.06 start the previous day.

The local currency traded between 52 and 51.84, resulting in an average of 51.896.

Volume reached USD996.28 million, higher than the previous trading day at USD770.33 million. (PNA)


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