Stocks surge on strong peso, narrower deficit


PHILIPPINE STOCKS surged on Thursday as the peso continued to recover against the dollar and as the government’s fiscal deficit narrowed in September.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 109.05 points or 1.78% to close at 6,230.58 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index gained 39.11 points or 1.2% to finish at 3,282.38.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message on Thursday that local stocks climbed on the back of a stronger peso and as the government posted a smaller budget deficit last month.

Data from the Bureau of Treasury showed the budget gap stood at P179.8 billion in September, down 0.61% from P180.9 billion a year earlier. However, this was more than double the P72-billion fiscal deficit in August.

For the first nine months of the year, the fiscal deficit narrowed to P1 trillion, 11.09% lower than the P1.14-trillion gap a year ago.

The government aims to reduce the deficit to 7.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year and to eventually bring it down to 3% of GDP by 2028.

Meanwhile, after the stock market’s close, the peso finished trading at an over one-month high of P58.22 per dollar, gaining 21 centavos from the prior day.

“The PSEi was able to sustain its rally … following the retreat in dollar on hopes that the Federal Reserve will temper its aggressive hawkish stance and as investors continued to pick up shares in anticipation of positive third quarter earnings,” AP Securities, Inc. Equity Research Analyst Carlos Angelo O. Temporal said in a Viber message.

“Philippine shares continued to challenge resistance levels, with the index finally reaching the 6,200 level with one more trading day in October [on Friday],” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“Back home, investors reacted positively to a narrowed budget gap in September,” he added.

The majority of the sectoral indices closed higher on Thursday. Holding firms gained 144.90 points or 2.46% to end at 6,029.17; industrials went up by 195.99 points or 2.22% to 9,020.55; services went up by 31.05 points or 1.97% to 1,601.89; financials rose by 27.57 points or 1.77% to 1,579.48; and mining and oil added 5.96 points or 0.05% to close at 10,060.46. 

Meanwhile, property declined by 19.77 points or 0.74% to 2,641.13.

Value turnover went up to P5.64 billion on Thursday with 629.95 million shares changing hands from the P3.72 billion with 311.25 million issues traded on Wednesday.

Advancers overwhelmed decliners, 123 versus 55, while 44 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying stood at P195.71 million on Thursday versus the P25.55 million in net selling recorded on Wednesday.

AP Securities’ Mr. Temporal placed PSEi’s support at 5,500 and resistance at 6,400. — A.E.O. Jose