By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
SHARES slipped on Thursday as investors stayed largely on the sidelines amid lack of compelling developments even as foreigners remained predominantly buyers for the second straight day.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) traded sideways for most of the session before closing 0.10% or 7.94 points lower at 7,931.30, while the broader all-shares index eked out a 0.001% or 0.06-point gain to 4,857.
“Index traded weakly the entire day to close 7.94 points down at 7,931.30. PSEi may have taken a slight breather after yesterday’s 100 point run-up,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.
The PSEi had rallied back to the 7,900 level on Wednesday on positive news about Sino-US trade talks.
Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan noted that investors reacted to the latest release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes, alongside other international news. “Philippine shares traded flat to slightly negative based on the dovish FOMC minutes, developments on Brexit and WTI crude rallying,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.
In contrast, many indices abroad ended in positive territory following reports that US and Chinese negotiators were outlining a plan to end their countries’ trade war. US and Chinese officials were to meet on Thursday and Friday for another round of talks. US President Donald J. Trump had earlier suggested that he might postpone the tariff hike on $200 billion worth of goods due March 1.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.24%, 0.18% and 0.03%, respectively, while elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng increased by 0.1% and 0.41%, respectively, although the Shanghai SE Composite and South Korea’s KOSPI shed 0.34% and 0.05%, respectively.
Sectoral indices back home were equally divided between gainers and losers. Those that ended in positive territory were services which went up 0.55% or 8.7 points to 1,574.38, industrials which rose by 0.49% or 56.67 points to 11,623.92, as well as mining and oil, which added 0.39% or 34.13 points to 8,626.12. Holding firms led the decline as it dropped 0.33% or 26.45 points to 7,972.77; financials shed 0.31% or 5.61 points to 1,772.17, while property fell by 0.2% or 8.29 points to 4,000.82.
Trading thinned to some 804.06 million shares worth P6.99 billion transacted, compared to Wednesday’s 1.47 billion issues worth P7.80 billion.
Stocks that advanced edged out those that declined 106 to 90, while 56 others were unchanged.
Foreigners were predominantly buyers for the second straight session, driving net buying nearly sixfold to P522.09 million from Wednesday’s P88.43 million.