Shares rise further as BSP chief hints at Q4 cut

PHILIPPINE STOCKS rose for the second straight session on Thursday on continued bargain hunting and expectations of rate cuts in the fourth quarter (Q4).

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 1.13% or 73.15 points to close at 6,523.19 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index climbed by 0.76% or 26.30 points to finish at 3,456.32.

“Fueling the positive sentiment was the resurfacing of rate cut hopes as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr. stated the possibility of monetary easing starting in the fourth quarter of this year,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research and Engagement Officer Mikhail Philippe Q. Plopenio said in a Viber message.

“The local market rose by 73.15 points (1.13%) to 6,523.19 due to sustained bargain hunting. Investors continued to take opportunities from the market’s recent steep decline,” Mr. Plopenio said.

The BSP could cut its key rate as early as the fourth quarter despite the peso’s recent weakness, Mr. Remolona said on Wednesday.

The Monetary Board may still cut policy rates in the fourth quarter, he told a news briefing on Wednesday.

“If things are worse than we think, that might be postponed to the first quarter of 2025.”

The peso and other regional currencies have weakened in recent days as markets bet against the odds of early rate cuts around the world.    

The local unit closed at the P57-per-dollar level on Tuesday for the first time since November 2022, ending at P57 flat, due to expectations that the US Federal Reserve would delay cutting interest rates.

It dropped further on Thursday, closing at P57.19 against the greenback.

The BSP this month kept its policy rate steady at a near 17-year high of 6.5% for a fourth straight meeting.

“Local investors continued to bargain hunt… as the index closed above 6,500, with a 1.13% improvement. Meanwhile, US technology shares continued to soften as the artificial intelligence play continued to lose steam,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan added in a Viber message.

Almost all sectoral indices closed higher except for mining and oil, which dropped by 1.62% or 134.32 points to end at 8,129.43.

Meanwhile, services climbed by 2.6% or 46.59 points to 1,833.87; financials rose by 1.74% or 35.08 points to 2,049.42; property went up by 0.92% or 22.81 points to 2,481.56; holding firms increased by 0.47% or 28.19 points to 6,005.47; and industrials inched up by 0.21% or 18.13 points to 8,507.76.

Value turnover went up to P6.56 billion on Thursday with 634.82 million issues switching hands from the P5.89 billion with 595.37 million issues traded on Wednesday.

Advancers beat decliners, 107 against 76, while 43 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling increased to P619.45 million on Thursday from P521.52 million on Wednesday. — R.M.D. Ochave