THE MAIN INDEX barely moved on Monday as investors stayed on the sidelines following the typhoon that ravaged some parts of the country over the weekend, alongside prevailing fears over the trade war between the United States and China.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) eked out a gain of 0.41 point to close at 7,413.56 on Monday, ending flat after losing more than a percentage point last Friday. In contrast, the broader all-shares index dropped 0.11% or 5.3 points to 4,550.
Analysts noted the lower-than-usual turnover for the session, which dropped to P3.94 billion from Friday’s P6-billion turnover after some 968.13 million issues switched hands.
“Value turnover was unusually low after slowly climbing higher the last few weeks as investors are trying to assess the damage caused by the typhoon that passed through Northern Luzon over the weekend,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.
The Philippine National Police on Monday reported that the casualty count brought by super typhoon Mangkhut — locally called Ompong — has already reached 65, with 54 of this from the Cordillera Administrative Region. The government said at least 250,000 people across seven regions in Luzon were affected by the typhoon, with more than half staying in evacuation centers.
“We remain vigilant in the coming days especially as the full effects of Typhoon Ompong start to materialize. Recall how the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, producers of rice and corn, were hit which may add pressure on inflationary effects this month,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.
Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan further attributed the market’s weakness to US President Donald J. Trump’s new pronouncements on their trade spat with China.
“Sessions were marked by whipsaw action due to reports that Trump still wants to impose tariffs on China despite previous news of easing tension,” he said.
Four sectoral indices ended in negative territory, led by the mining and oil sector which lost 1.64% or 159.97 points to 9,557.27. Financials shed 1.08% or 18.07 points to 1,649.22; holding firms went down 0.65% or 47.43 points to 7,204.48; while services slowed 0.05% or 0.77 point to 1,516.74.
Meanwhile, industrials firmed up 1.12% or 122.59 points to 11,071.53. The property counter also climbed 0.89% or 32.97 points to 3,727.37.
Decliners narrowly outpaced advancers, 99 to 95, while 44 names ended flat.
Net foreign outflows dropped to P250.88 million yesterday versus Friday’s P815.36 million.
The session’s list of 20 most actively traded stocks showed an equal split between losers and gainers. Among the day’s gainers were SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (up 1.65%), Ayala Land, Inc. (up 1.46%), Universal Robina Corp. (up 2.83%), and Alliance Select Foods International, Inc. (up 15.18%). — Arra B. Francia