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PSEi ends flat as inflation dampens sentiment

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SHARES barely moved on Monday as the higher inflation print in June and a projected interest rate hike in August dampened investor sentiment.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended flat at 7,186.62 Monday, July 9, slipping by a mere 0.09 point.

The broader all-shares index was also relatively unchanged with a 0.04% decrease or 2.04 points to 4,385.30.

“The PSEi traded around the 7,200, but the overhang from the inflation data and forecast of a 50-basis point increase during the Aug. 9 BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) meeting still weighed on the market,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

A sell-off was observed in stocks of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. — also the most actively traded name of the day — following rumors of being involved in a loan scam. While the company clarified that the rumor was not true, shares still fell 2.72% or P1.90 to close at P67.85 each on Monday.

The main index bucked the trend in its regional and international counterparts, which mostly showed gains on Monday and over the weekend.

In Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.41% or 99.74 points to 24,456.48. The S&P 500 index firmed up 0.85% or 23.21 points to 2,759.82, while the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 1.34% or 101.96 points to 7,688.39.

Majority of Asian indices also ended in the green.

“In light of the lack of positive leads, and the still evident slack in overall activity, the gains, thin as they already were, disappeared heading into the final hour of morning trades. It steadied for some time at the +5 and +6 points, but with nothing to propel it, the pessimism resurfaced,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Head Justino R. Calaycay, Jr. said in an e-mail.

Locally, sectoral indices were equally split between gainers and losers. Holding firms led the increase with an uptick of 0.42% or 29.61 points to 7,050.86, followed by financials which rose 0.12% or 2.22 points to 1,774.01. Property, meanwhile, added 0.01% or 0.61 point to close at 3,553.13 Monday, July 9.

Meanwhile, industrials dropped 0.97% or 101.16 points to 10,231.05; mining and oil shed 0.39% or 37.93 points to 9,560.27; while services went down 0.17% or 2.42 points to 1,411.74.

Value turnover thinned further to P3.38 billion after some 606.5 million issues switched hands, dropping from the P4-billion turnover average seen last week.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 105 to 81, while 49 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors remained sellers for the third straight day, dumping a net P730.88 million in funds versus the P637.98-million net sales recorded on Friday.