Local shares down on Wall Street, consolidation

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Wednesday stayed above 8,500 but continued its downward move as Wall Street dropped and as the local market consolidated.

The index closed at 8,508.49, down 13.32 points or 0.15%.

The all-shares index closed at 4,971.03, up 4.43 points or 0.08%.

“Philippine stocks were sold down, just as US stocks fell on Tuesday, retreating from records hit earlier in the session. Questions continued to swirl over the timing of the Republican Party’s tax bill, as well as what form it could eventually take in order to have a higher likelihood of passage soon. European stocks fell slightly on little catalyst,” Luis A. Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a text message yesterday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a fourth consecutive record high close on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 ended marginally lower after a disappointing profit forecast from Priceline and a drop in financials.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.04% at 23,557.23 after spending most of the day in negative territory. The S&P 500 dipped 0.02% to 2,590.64. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.27% to 6,767.78.

“For the short to medium term….The market is going through consolidation against the record high and recent down,” Harry G. Liu, president of Summit Securities, Inc. said in a phone interview.

Mr. Liu said investors will be looking to the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit for leads.

“We will see whether this will improve foreign investment, foreign attitude towards the Philippines,” he said.

Among the sectors, only financials and industrial posted gains on Wednesday. Financials closed at 2,096.57, up 27.24 points or 1.31%, and industrials closed at 11,014.06, up 42.75 points or 0.39%.

On the other hand, holding firms closed at 8,651.66, down 52.05 or 0.59%; services at 1,696.57, down 7.02 points or 0.41%; mining and oil at 13,182.89, down 77.02 points or 0.58%; and property at 4,024.91, down 29.51 or 0.72%.

Value turnover inched up to P7.67 billion on Wednesday from the previous session’s P7.02 billion as 1.6 billion shares changed hands.

Decliners outnumbered advancing stocks, 128 to 91, while 36 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying climbed to P144.67 million yesterday from Tuesday’s P10.62 million.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets were muted on Wednesday, with Indonesia slipping from a record close, as investors took a breather in the absence of market-moving data. However, Vietnam stocks firmed to hit a fresh near decade high, while Singapore held on to two-year highs.

Global equities were largely muted as concerns of a delay in US tax reform proposal and apprehension over Saudi Arabia’s rising tensions with Iran soured investor sentiment. — P.P.C. Marcelo with Reuters