Stocks decline on negative sentiment

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THE MAIN INDEX started December on a negative note, extending its decline as developments on the United States’ tax reform program dampened sentiments locally.

The 30-member bellwether index dropped 1.33% or 110.01 points to end the week at 8,144.02. The broader all-shares index likewise closed 1.25% or 60.77 points lower at 4,785.86 on Friday.

“I guess the local market sentiment was negatively influenced by postponement of the US Senate debate on [US President Donald J.] Trump’s tax reform program,” Timson Securities, Inc. equities trader Jervin S. De Celis said in a mobile phone message.

Mr. De Celis noted that 25 firms in the Philippine Stock Exchange index dropped, with index heavyweights such as Bank of the Philippine Islands, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Aboitiz Equity Ventures, and Ayala Corp. contributing a total of 74.7 points to its decline.

All sectoral indices ended in the red, with the property sector leading the decline after shedding 59 points or 1.53% to 3,808.92. Holding firms followed with a loss of 123.48 points or 1.47% to 8,278.66, while the mining and oil counter slipped 1.4% or 161.83 points to 11,391.84.

The financials sub-index was down by 1.17% or 24.66 points to 2,076.25; industrials closed 0.92% or 99.12 points lower at 10,641.22, while services lost 12.62 points or 0.78% to 1,597.78.

RCBC Securities, Inc. equities trader Jeffrey Lucero noted that the market continues to move within the support level of 8,100.

“We still see a strong support at the 8,100 level. Also, we might receive some boost from window dressing as we near the end of the year,” Mr. Lucero said in a text message, adding that they expect the local bourse to climb to the 8,500 level by the end of 2017.

A total of 1.48 billion issues changed hands on Friday, valued at P9.74 billion.

Decliners trumped advancers, 134 to 59, while 45 stocks were unchanged.

Foreign investors turned sellers, lodging a net outflow or P190 million, against the P1.22 billion inflow recorded last Nov. 29.

Moving forward, analysts are looking at developments on the government’s comprehensive tax reform program which will discussed by member of the Senate and House of Representatives through bicameral conference committee before the holidays. — Arra B. Francia

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