Peso breaches ₱59 vs. $1 intraday; PSEi plummets to 5,800 level after nearly 2 years

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — The Philippine peso continued to lose ground against the US dollar as it surpassed ₱59 during Wednesday's trading, while local shares plunged to the 5,800 level for the first time since October 2020.

The local currency, which opened at ₱58.95, traded as weak as ₱59.02 and as strong as ₱58.88, according to Bankers Association of the Philippines figures.

It closed at ₱58.98, a centavo away from the current record-low close of ₱58.99 set on Tuesday.

Economists have attributed the peso's losing streak to the dollar's attractiveness to investors amid the US Federal Reserve's aggressive interet rate hikes against inflation. The Fed's moves have also affected other currencies in the region.

The Fed's hawkish stance is "continuously being priced in" by the local market too, UnionBank chief economist Carlo Asuncion told CNN Philippines.

Also on Wednesday, the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) sank 2.33% to end at 5,872.68. All indices were in the red.

The last time the PSEi was on the 5,800 level was on Oct. 16, 2020, when it closed at 5,898.47 before rebounding to the 6,000 mark the day after.

Apart from rising interest rates abroad, Regina Capital managing director Luis Limlingan likewise cited global recession fears among investors' concerns.

These developments also pushed other regional indices "deeper into the bear market," Limlingan said over Viber.

"With the potential recession happening, many market players are worried of stock prices falling and are rushing to protect their investment portfolios to keep from the negative impacts of contracting economic activity," added Asuncion.

"Nevertheless, this lowest level since October 2020 of the PSEi is also a great sign to look for bargains and patiently look for quick wins," he further explained.