The local stock market is pinning its hopes on bargain hunters and the upcoming Monetary Board meeting this week to finally break out of its current slump.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index has been on an eight-day losing streak, closing last Friday at its lowest level so far for 2024 at 6,158.48.

Philstocks Financial research manager Japhet Tantiangco said the local market is exhibiting a bearish bias, with the market already touching a new low for the year and drawing near its support at the 6,150 level.

'With its recent downturn, the market has been driven to more attractive levels. Thus, we may see some episodes of bargain hunting in this week's trading,' he said.

However, Tantiangco said it is not expected for the market to stage a strong rally yet until investors hear positive narratives on the timing of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' policy easing.

'In line with this, investors are expected to watch out for the Monetary Board's upcoming policy meeting this week. Investors will be watching out for cues on the BSP's monetary policy outlook,' he said.

According to Tantiangco, hints of rate cuts soon may cause a turnaround in the market's current direction. However, he said the market might continue with its bearish bias if there would be none.

Further, investors are likewise expected to monitor the peso's movement against the US dollar.

The peso fell to nearly 20-month low against the dollar last Friday, closing at 58.80.

'Sustained weakness of the local currency may weigh on market sentiment especially on those of foreign investors,' Tantiangco said.

Given the recent trend, in a report said the first half of 2024 is looking to end with 'a whimper instead of the bang most participants have been intending earlier this year.'

'While recent rebalancing activities have influenced this slide, more permanent escape velocity will likely be driven by positive changes in rate cycle outlook and victory of central banks over inflation - the same factors that ushered local equities outside of the 6,000 to 6,400 range last year,' it said.

Immediate support is seen at 6,000 to 6,150 while resistance is at 6,300 to 6,400

Copyright © 2022 PhilSTAR Daily, Inc Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (