• 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.