PHILIPPINE SHARES declined on Tuesday due to slower remittances growth in February and as the peso continued to weaken against the dollar.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 40.90 points or 0.62% to close at 6,464.72 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index went down by 18.02 points or 0.51% to end at 3,471.52.

“The local bourse dropped as the slower cash remittance growth in February and the depreciation of the peso against the dollar weighed on sentiment,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“In February, overseas Filipinos’ cash remittances grew by 2.4%, lower than January’s 3.5%. Moreover, the depreciation of the peso versus the dollar added to the negative sentiment. Earlier, the peso reached the P56 level against the dollar,” Ms. Alviar added.

Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers rose by 2.4% year on year to $2.57 billion in February, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday showed.

For the first two months of the year, cash remittances grew by 3% year on year to $5.331 billion.

The BSP expects remittances to grow by 3% this year.

Meanwhile, the peso closed at P56.14 against the dollar on Tuesday, down by 29 centavos from Monday’s P55.85 finish.

This was the peso’s weakest close and was its first time ending at the P56-per-dollar level in more than three months or since it finished at P56.20 on Dec. 28, 2022.

AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said investors may stay on the sidelines until early May as they wait for market-moving events.

“That will be the time where we will be loaded with major market-moving events like the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) decision on interest rates, Philippine April inflation, and first quarter corporate earnings results,” Mr. Vistan said.

“For now, the PSEi will move within 6,400 to 6,500,” he added.

The next FOMC meeting will be held on May 2-3.

All sectoral indices closed lower on Tuesday. Property dropped by 34.35 points or 1.25% to 2,693.25; mining and oil declined by 134.60 points or 1.21% to 10,937.43; holding firms fell by 53.67 points or 0.84% to 6,304.62; industrials decreased by 34.17 points or 0.36% to 9,285.69; financials went down by 3.39 points or 0.18% to 1,791.85; and services lost 0.68 point or 0.04% to close at 1,606.97.

Value turnover went down to P3 billion on Tuesday with 770.44 million shares changing hands from the P4.39 billion with 1.07 billion issues traded on Monday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 114 versus 61, while 55 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling rose to P142.88 million on Tuesday from P59.57 million seen on Monday. — A.H. Halili