Bourse up on week despite Friday’s fall

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THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE Index (PSEi) chalked up its second weekly gain despite falling on Friday largely under the weight of Wall Street’s retreat from Wednesday’s record highs in the face of revived worries about planned US tax reforms.

PSEi gave up 86.34 points or 1.01% to finish 8,433.48 on Friday — even as it was 0.68% up on the week — while the all-shares index dropped 47.96 points or 0.96% to 4,931.86.

Only one of the six sectoral indices ended Friday with gains, while foreigners stayed largely sellers for the second straight day.

“Philippine and US stocks lost ground, pulling back from all-time highs, as investors expressed concern over a report that tax legislation due to be unveiled by Senate Republicans would delay a corporate tax cut until 2019,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

“Locally however, many were selling ahead of the ASEAN summit due to the long holidays and with some investors wanting to see the output of their meetings.”

While also noting that “[t]he local stock market also trailed the the sluggish performance of US equities as US trade figures raise concerns about the progress of (US President Donald) Trump’s tax reform”, Jervin S. de Celis, equities trader at Timson Securities, Inc., noted via separate text message that “PSEi ended negative after investors booked profits from index heavyweights such as JG Summit (Holdings, Inc.) and SM Prime (Holdings, Inc., or SMPH). SMPH also reached an all time yesterday of P38.25, prompting investors to liquidate some shares.”

SM Prime had reported last Nov. 6 that net income that went to controlling equity holders increased by 16.38% to P5.66 billion last quarter from P4.863 billion a year ago, fueling a 14.86% annual rise in nine-month attributable profit to P20.047 billion.

Friday saw shares of SM Prime and of JG Summit drop 3.56% to P36.60 apiece and by 2.47% to P75.05 each, respectively. The day’s 20 most actively traded stocks saw MacroAsia Corp. lose the most, dropping 6.69% to end P22.30 apiece.

Those that gained were led by Integrated Micro-Electroncis, Inc. and BDO Unibank, Inc. whose shares added 2.29% to finish P22.30 apiece and 1.79% to P147.60 each, respectively.

Reuters reported that Wall Street stocks on Thursday pulled back from Wednesday’s fresh peaks “as investors turned their attention to a US Senate Republican plan that would delay expected corporate tax cuts”. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday lost 0.43% to end 23,461.94, the S&P 500 Index went down by 0.38% to 2,584.62 and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.58% to 6,750.06.

Other Asian bourses were a mixed bunch on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and TOPIX Index, South Korea’s KOSPI Index, the Jakarta Composite Index and the S&P/ASX 200 Index losing 0.82%, 0.70%, 0.30%, 0.23% and 0.33%, respectively, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, the Straits Times Index, the Shanghai Composite Index and the MSCI AC Asia Pacific gained 0.09%, 0.05%, 0.16% and 0.01%, respectively.

Friday saw only one Philippine sectoral index gain: financials added 7.9 points or 0.37% to finish 2,094.61.

The five other sub-indices lost: property by 82.02 points or 2.03% to 3,955.41, holding firms by 95.27 points or 1.09% to 8,612.20, mining & oil by 119.94 points or 0.95% to 12,417.48, industrials by 85.22 points or 0.77% to 10,908.93 and services by 12.2 points or 0.71% to 1,688.66.

Stocks that declined outnumbered those that gained 134 to 73, while 44 others were unchanged.

Trading volume thinned to 1.172 billion shares worth P7.53 billion from Thursday’s 1.502 billion shares worth P9.324 billion.

Net foreign selling persisted for a second day at P222.786 million, 6.67% less Thursday’s P238.756 million. — with inputs from P. P. C. Marcelo