Weak peso, Fed wait hold back optimists

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the local bourse benchmark, slid on Wednesday 106.77 points or 1.66 percent to 6,341.69 from Tuesday’s close as investors went on a wait-and-see game amid a pending policy rate hike from the Federal Reserve and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

On the first day of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting, investors braced themselves for another interest rate hike announcement.

The rising yields also impacted yesterday’s moves. The 2-year US Treasury note yield surged as high as 3.99 percent, its highest level since 2007, Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan said.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury briefly touched 3.6 percent, the most since 2011.

On the data front, existing home sales will be released Wednesday morning.

Oil dipped yesterday as the dollar stayed strong and investors anticipated more central bank interest-rate hikes designed to quell inflation.

Brent crude futures ended the day at $90.23 per barrel, down 1.9 percent. On the other hand, the US West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 1.49 percent, settling at $84.45/bbl.

Peso adds to woes

“Most investors were on the sidelines, waiting for the decision of the Fed. Since many were anticipating a hawkish stance, the peso depreciated further, touching the P58 level, according to forex trading,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. assistant manager for research and online engagement Claire Alviar said.

“This weighed on the performance of the market since if the Fed will be more aggressive than the BSP, the peso may weaken further which would hurt the economy,” she added.

Except for Miners, which gained 0.18 percent, Financials had the largest loss of 2.49 percent. The net market value turnover yesterday was recorded at P5.21 billion, higher than the recorded P4.62 billion the other day.

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