PHL stocks down on cautiousness ahead of BSP

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PSE BGC bells

LOCAL EQUITIES plunged on Monday, bringing the index to a new low for the year as investors stayed cautious ahead of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) meeting on Wednesday amid a weakening peso.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) sunk to as low as the 7,300 level Monday, June 18, before paring down losses to 1.53% or 115.43 points to settle at 7,414.11 by the closing bell. The main index recorded an intraday low of 7,328.30, its lowest so far for the year.

The broader all-shares index likewise gave up 1.35% or 62.14 points to 4,531.04.

“The peso’s unrelenting depreciation continued its barrage on the index as its new 2018 high of P53.53 in the morning led the PSEi to gap down 125 points at the open. With the index opening below its previous 2018 low of 7,457.05, sellers immediately took this as a bearish sign,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel F. Perez said in an e-mail.

Mr. Perez said they are looking forward to the BSP’s policy meeting on Wednesday, which could further prompt weakness in the peso.

“Investors likely lightened ahead of the BSP’s policy decision this Wednesday. A retaliatory response by China after the US decided to levy more tariffs on Chinese imports may have also dragged sentiment for the day,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Director Garie G. Ouano said via text.

US President Donald J. Trump announced last week that Washington slapping a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. In response, China is imposing a similar-sized set of levies on $50 billion worth of American goods such as beef, poultry, tobacco, and cars.

Aside from China, the US has also imposed 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum against the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Following this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.34% or 84.83 points to 25,090.48. The S&P 500 index declined by 0.10% or 2.83 points to 2,779.66, while the Nasdaq Composite index also went down by 0.19% or 14.66 points to 7,746.38.

Locally, sectoral indices bled on Monday. The mining and oil counter led the decline with a loss of 2.82% or 286.58 points to 9,844.19. Financials shed 2.15% or 40.61 points to 1,841.83, while holding firms slumped 1.79% or 135.11 points to 7,379.55.

Services slipped 1.57% or 23.49 points to 1,469.94; industrials went down by 1.53% or 164.91 points to 10,560.78; while property dipped 0.22% or 8.22 points to 3,587.83.

Some 1.61 billion issues switched hands, resulting in a turnover of P7.75 billion, dropping from the previous session’s P12.31 billion.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 161 to 44, while 40 names remained flat.

Foreign investors remained sellers, albeit the net outflow dropped to P1.29 billion on Monday from the P2.22-billion net sales seen last Thursday. — Arra B. Francia