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Philippine markets mixed as players digest local, overseas data

Philippine financial markets closed mixed on Thursday, as market players took into consideration a number of factors such as local economic data and overseas corporate earnings.

The local stock barometer PSEi shed 38.55 points or 0.55% to 7,042.70, while the broader All Shares index lost 9.87 points or 0.27% to 3,692.89.

More than 1.336 million shares, valued at P5.111 billion, changed hands. Advancers trumped decliners, 107 to 99, and 49 issues were unchanged.

“Investors parsed through the latest batch of US corporate earnings that led to some market weakness globally and locally,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis Limlingan said in a mobile message.

Meanwhile, the Philippine peso appreciated against its US counterpart to P54.40:$1 from its previous close of P54.63:$1, marking its strongest performance in over seven months since June 21, 2022’s P54.265:$1.

Thursday’s performance came after the release of local economic data which reported fourth quarter growth at 7.2%, bringing the full-year rate to 7.8%.

The latest full-year figure breached the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) target range of 6.5% to 7.5%, and within the original target range of 7.0% to 9.0%.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) chief eonomist Michael Ricafort attributed the strength to the latest economic growth data, along with the trade data for the month of December and the full-year 2022.

The country’s trade deficit widened to $4.596 billion last December from the $3.709-billion deficit in November, but narrower than the $5.116-billion deficit in December 2021.

“After the stronger-than-expected GDP data, trade deficit wider month-on-month still among the narrowest in nine months,” Ricafort said in a separate mobile message.

“Another offsetting positive factor for the peso recently: the local stock market gauge still lingered among nine-month highs recently,” he added.

Ricafort noted that the support levels have been at the P54.15 to P54.20 levels in the past eight months, helping to keep the underlying upward trend seen since April last year.—LDF, GMA Integrated News