By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
THE local bourse tanked on the last trading day of 2018, failing to hold on to early morning gains as investors chose to take profits amid year-end window dressing.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) stumbled 0.22% or 16.64 points to close at 7,466.02 on Friday, reversing gains from the previous session. The broader all shares index managed to eke out gains of 0.08% or 3.72 points to 4,517.85.
“The market experienced profit taking and lower than average volume and value (turnover). Window dressing is also present since PSEi was in green territory most of the day,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Piper Chaucer Tan said in a text message.
“Advancers outpaced decliners, which means that investors, mostly domestic, were on accumulation mode, especially on index counters.”
Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis. A. Limlingan said window dressing also failed to push the market beyond the 7,500 level due to profit taking.
“One reason for this: volatility continued to reign Thursday with US stocks erasing heavy losses to end higher in a late session turnaround that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average end more than 800 points above its session low,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile message.
Wall Street indices continued their ascent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.14% or 260.37 points to 23,138.82. The S&P 500 index gained 0.86% or 21.13 points to 2,488.83, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.38% or 25.14 points to 6,579.49.
This year’s finish marks a 12.53% decline from 2017’s close of 8,535.09, which was also that year’s 14th record high.
Volatility hounded the PSEi for the entire year. From hitting a record high finish of 9,058.62 on Jan. 29, the main index has been on a steady decline to its lowest close of 6,843.83 on Nov. 13.
Analysts attributed the rocky performance to the inflation, which worried foreign investors questioning its impact on the country’s economic growth. Year-to-date, the PSEi posted a net foreign selling figure of P54.23 billion.
The trade war between the US and China also hampered investor sentiment locally since US President Donald J. Trumped released his first warnings last July.
“Global influences persisted, (as investors) worried about global economic growth if a full-blown trade war between US and China will (occur),” Philstocks’ Mr. Tan said.
Sectoral indices were split between losers and gainers. Leading those in positive territory was the financials counter, which jumped 0.7% or 12.33 points to 1,779.85. Services climbed 0.51% or 7.25 points to 1,442.71, while property added 0.01% or 0.5 points to 3,627.98.
Meanwhile, industrial lost 0.7% or 76.77 points to 10,951.36. Mining and oil dropped 0.41% or 34.04 points to 8,200.50, while holding firms slipped 0.36% or 26.53 points to 7,341.81.
Some 1.3 billion issues switched hands, with a value turnover of P5.67 billion, slightly higher than the previous session’s P5.16 billion.
Advancers outpaced decliners, 118 to 81, while 48 names were unchanged.