The stock barometer slipped on Friday as investors closed some trading positions before the weekend while the continued weakening of the peso curbed risk-taking.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 29.28 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 6,923.60, tracking mostly sluggish regional markets.

For the week, the PSEi shed a marginal 27.93 points from last week’s closing of 6,951.53.

Value turnover surged to P21.99 billion on Friday, as P15.3 billion worth of secondary shares of newly listed MREIT Inc. previously held by sponsor Megaworld changed hands at the market.

There was net foreign buying of P2.84 billion, which included subscription of MREIT’s offer.

“I think investors were just squaring their positions before the weekend,” said Joseph Roxas, president of Eagle Equities Inc., explaining the PSEi’s dip.

Roxas said one factor that could have significantly affected sentiment on Friday was the peso’s depreciation against the US dollar. He said this could likewise jack up the country’s import bill, particularly for oil.

“Because oil is more expensive in dollar terms, [you] are spending more in dollars for the same barrels of oil,” he said.

For the week, the peso depreciated by another 0.28 percent to close at P50.79 against the US dollar. This marked its fourth straight week of decline.

But despite the PSEi’s performance, there were 103 advancers that outnumbered 86 decliners.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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