Stocks advanced Friday, after data showing another slowdown in US inflation fueled bets the Federal Reserve will take a softer approach to its monetary tightening campaign.
The PSE index, the 30-company benchmark, climbed 118 points, or 1.73 percent, to close at 6,951.54, as all six subsectors posted gains.
The broader all-share index went up by 49 points, or 1.38 percent, to settle at 3,637.62, on a value turnover of P9.24 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers, 126 to 64, while 46 issues were unchanged.
Nine of the 10 most active stocks ended in the green, led by Universal Robina Corp. which jumped 6.77 percent to P149.80, and Bank of the Philippine Islands which climbed 6.69 percent to P110.00.
The peso also rebounded Friday to finish at 54.89 against the US dollar from 55.29 on Thursday. Analysts said the dollar remained under pressure in the wake of the inflation figures, with the Japanese unit at its strongest level since June, while the euro is at an eight-month high.
Meanwhile, most Asian markets also rose again Friday. Investors put a painful 2022 behind them and focus on a recovery in the global economy, helped greatly by China’s reopening.
All three main indexes on Wall Street extended gains after the much-anticipated consumer price index came in at its lowest level since October 2021 as months of Fed interest rate hikes begin to kick in.
The report also showed the first month-on-month dip in the CPI for about two years.
The news boosted bets on the central bank lifting rates just 25 basis points next month, easing worries about a possible recession in the world’s top economy.
Policymakers have been hiking borrowing costs since March, including four bumper 75-point increases, as they struggled to get a grip on inflation as it hit four-decade highs.
Most Asian markets tracked the New York rally. Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Mumbai, Singapore, Taipei, and Wellington were all in the green.
Hong Kong extended its winning streak despite a report saying the Chinese government was considering taking “golden shares” in giants Alibaba and Tencent, giving it a tighter grip on the tech sector.
Traders shook off data showing a bigger-than-expected drop in Chinese imports and exports last month.
Tokyo dropped more than one percent as an increasingly stronger yen took its toll on exporters, while Bangkok and Jakarta also dipped.
However, while there are hopes that inflation has peaked, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned that the full impact of monetary tightening had yet to be felt and central banks still had more work to do.
Kristalina Georgieva said while sectors such as housing were beginning to hurt in the United States, the jobs market remained strong with low unemployment.
“As long as people are employed, even if prices are high, consumers spend… But we all know that the impact of tightening financial conditions is yet to bite, in terms of unemployment,” she said in a briefing on the world economy.
“Inflation remains stubborn, and in that sense, the job of central banks is not yet done.”
And analysts warned there were still plenty of bumps in the road ahead, with concern now turning to the effect of higher rates on corporate earnings.
“The Fed will go down this path of tightening, no pivots of any kind. Maybe a pause at best,” Adam Coons at Winthrop Capital Management told Bloomberg Television.
“It could mean a lot of pressure for equity markets” when an earnings recession is also likely in the first half of the year.
Oil prices dipped but were well on course for a weekly gain thanks to rising demand expectations as China emerges from zero-COVID and the US inflation figures soothe concerns about interest rate rises. With AFP