Bourse pulls back from record high on profit taking

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SHARES on Wednesday ended a three-day rally that had seen the main index closing short of 9,000 the day before to mark the year’s sixth peak, as investors pocketed gains.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed 78.79 points or 0.87% down at 8,920.23, while the all-shares index shed 8.92 points or 0.17% to 5,205.69.

“After nearly touching 9,000, investors finally resorted to profit taking as investment managers still digest the impact of the underwhelming fourth-quarter 2017 GDP results,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message, referring to a 6.6% gross domestic product (GDP) pace that fell short of the market’s 6.7% expectation for those three months.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia on Tuesday had noted, however, that the 6.7% full-year clip that fell within the government’s 6.5-7.5% target for 2017 was “strong,” considering it was achieved after an election year — hence saw weaker household consumption — and still kept the country among Asia’s fastest-growing economies after China (6.9%) and Vietnam (6.8%).

Wednesday saw the list of the 20 most active stocks equally divided between those that gained and those that declined, with the former led by the likes of Ayala Land, Inc.; Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. that increased by 1.43% to P46.25 apiece, 5.33% to P11.86 and 1.90% to P102 each, respectively, while the latter were led by  BDO Unibank, Inc.; SM Investments Corp.; Ayala Corp.; Bank of the Philippine Islands; SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; LT Group, Inc.; and GT Capital Holdings’ Inc. that fell by 1.003% to P157.90 apiece; 0.64% to P1,088; 0.96% to P1,035; 2.40% to P118.10; 1.52% to P38.90; 4.26% to P22.50 and 2.41% to 1,338 per share.

“It’s just profit taking off the recent high… But if anything, pullbacks are welcome at this point and we would take it as an opportunity to buy,” RCBC Securities, Inc. equity analyst Jeffrey Lucero said in a text message.

Four of the six sectoral indices closed lower, with holding firms falling by 154.74 points or 1.66% to 9,136.44; followed by mining and oil that dropped 157.56 points or 1.31% to 11,810.82; financials which shed 13.27 points or 0.58% to 2,263.75 and industrials that slipped by 3.05 points or 0.02% to 11,936.35.

Services and property gained, by 9.68 points or 0.58% to 1,675.49 and by 4.51 points or 0.11% to 4,077.26, respectively.

Trading thinned slightly to 896.77 million stocks worth P8.46 billion from Tuesday’s 1.19 billion issues worth P8.54 billion. Stocks that declined outnumbered those that gained by 115 to 103, while 40 names were flat. Foreigners ended eight days of net buying, with Wednesday seeing P47.284-million net sales instead. — Arra B. Francia