Stocks finish flat, holding firms lead gainers

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Shares barely moved on Monday, July 9, as the higher inflation recorded last June and the projected interest rate hike in August put a drag on investor sentiment.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended flat at 7,186.62, slipping by 0.001% or 0.09 points. The broader all shares index was also relatively unchanged with a 0.05% 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 August 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 the stocks of Metropolitan Bank & Trust, Inc.—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 of 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, with the Karachi Exchange being the only market that joined the PSEi in the red.

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 0.13% or 2.22 points to 1,774.01. Property meanwhile added 0.02% or 0.61 points to 3,553.13.

Industrial dropped 0.98% or 101.16 points to 10,231.05; mining and oil shed 0.4% or 37.93 points to 9,560.27; while services went down 0.17% or 2.42 points to 1,411.74.

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

Decliners outpaced advancers, 105 to 81, while 49 names were unchanged. — Arra B. Francia