STOCKS moved sideways on Monday amid a lack of local catalysts and ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down by 0.05% or 3.97 points to close at 7,520.40 on Monday. The broader all-shares index, meanwhile, climbed 0.08% or 3.60 points to 4,510.10.
“We lack fresh catalysts in the local scene and I think investors are waiting for the US Fed’s outlook for the US economy as well as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) policy meeting decision which will be held in the middle of the week,” Jervin S. de Celis, equity trader at Timson Securities, Inc., said in a text message.
“Foreigners remain net sellers today as they anticipate a 25-basis-point hike in the US. The probability of a rate hike increased from 72% last weekend to 77.5% today,” he said on Monday.
Net foreign selling was logged at P822.25 million on Monday, widening from last Friday’s net outflow worth P691.23 million.
The US central bank is holding its two-day policy review on Dec. 18-19, where it is widely expected to hike rates anew and give signals on its future tightening path amid fears of an economic slowdown.
For Luis A. Limlingan, managing director of Regina Capital Development Corp., the slight downward movement was due to an easing in US-China trade tensions and soft US economic data.
“US-China trade tensions abated marginally this week as China made the first order of US soybeans after the G20 meeting and announced it would suspend additional tariffs on US-made autos and auto parts for three months from Jan 1, 2019,” he said.
“US industrial production increased by 0.6% in November, three tenths above consensus expectations. Business inventories rose 0.6% in October, in line with expectations. Here at home, remittance numbers were rather encouraging as the latest data from October showed that money sent by our Filipino relative grew 8.7% to $2.474 billion based on cash remittances,” Mr. Limlingan added.
Sub-indices were split. Gainers were led by services, which went up by 1.09% or 15.62 points to close at 1,446.69. Property also climbed 0.54% or 19.95 points to close at 3,661.12 and industrials gained 0.14% or 15.85 points to 10,978.85.
On the other hand, losing counters were led by mining and oil, which was down by 2.35% or 193.17 points to close at 8,005.38. Financials fell 0.69% or 12.39 points to 1,773.16 and holding firms slipped 0.54% or 40.29 points to finish at 7,389.82.
Some 1.05 billion shares valued at P5.94 billion switched hands on Monday, down from Friday’s P6.85-billion turnover.
Decliners narrowly beat advancers, 98 to 93, while 45 names remained unchanged.
Timson Securities’ Mr. De Celis said the market will continue moving sideways this week. “However, end of year window dressing next week may push our index a little higher.” — VMPG