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Stocks edge down as investors look for fresh leads

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange — PHOTO BY SANTIAGO J. ARNAIZ

LOCAL EQUITIES barely moved on Monday as investors chose to stay on the sidelines due to a lack of leads.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended 7.25 points lower or 0.09% to 7,719.47 Monday, Apr. 23. The broader all-shares index also fell 0.21% or 10.20 points to 4,677.09.

“Philippine markets began on a quiet note as the market traded almost unchanged while value turnover was nearly half of the average. There were no major economic data releases last Friday, giving minimal guidance to the direction for investors,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said.

“The market traded sideways for the majority of the day after some initial strength in the morning. This may have been due to some optimism following Friday’s green session… Investors may be waiting for the market’s next move as some only stood on the sidelines Tuesday, Apr. 24,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel F. Perez said in an e-mail.

All sectoral indices moved to negative territory, led by the mining and oil sector which dropped 1.4% or 149.65 points to 10,532.72. Services went down 0.32% or 5.10 points to 1,564.14, while holding firms gave up 0.24% or 18.99 points to 7,631.93.

Property dipped 0.10% or 3.67 points to 3,587.69; financials slipped 0.07% or 1.57 points to 1,993.32; while industrials closed 0.07% or 7.74 points lower to 11,076.60.

Some 1.04 billion issues switched hands, resulting to a value turnover of P5.48 billion, lower than Friday’s P6.72-billion turnover.

Decliners trumped advancers, 103 to 88, while 57 issues were unchanged.

Foreign investors remained sellers, with net foreign outflows recorded at P308.20 million, slightly lower than the P381.15 million posted last Friday.

Twelve of the top 20 most actively traded stocks declined, with BDO Unibank, Inc. losing 2.31% to P130.90 each; Metro Pacific Investments Corp. went down by 3.45% to P4.48; while Megawide Construction Corp. decreased 3.35% to P23.05 apiece.

Ayala-led Prime Orion Philippines, Inc. was among the top gainers for the day, advancing 5.26% to P3.60 each. Other gainers were Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., which added 1.99% to P84.55 each, and Bank of the Philippine Islands which rose 1.89% to P108 each.

US markets also ended lower last Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 0.82% or 201.95 points to close at 24,462.94. The Nasdaq Composite index plunged 1.27% or 91.93 points to 7,146.13, while the S&P 500 index also dropped 0.85% or 22.99 points to 2,670.14.

Performances of Asian indices were mixed on Monday, following the lower finishes of its global counterparts. Fears of rising interest rates also weighed down the region, with yields on 10-year US treasury notes rose to 2.9789%, its highest in four years. — Arra B. Francia