Philippine’s stock benchmark entered a bull market, as the country’s central bank signaled an imminent end to its monetary tightening cycle and the outlook for corporate earnings brightens as China reopens its borders.
The peso also strengthened along with most Asian currencies as traders eased off hawkish bets for the Federal Reserve.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 1.7% Friday, led by Universal Robina Corp. and Bank of the Philippine Islands. The gauge, the best performer in the region, is up more than 21% from a Sept. 30 low. Foreign flows for the Southeast Asian nation also kicked off positively this year.
The country’s manufacturing sector saw a steady recovery last year aided by the release of pent-up demand following the pandemic. The S&P Global purchasing managers index for the Philippines rose to 53.1 in December from 52.7, its highest reading since June 2022, raising prospects for strong earnings growth this year.
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