By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
THE MAIN INDEX plunged for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, marking its worst finish in nearly a month on sustained profit taking.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slumped 1.12% or 89.68 points to close at 7,920.24 yesterday, while the broader all-shares index dropped 0.95% or 46.42 points to 4,811.99.
“(The PSEi) is an outlier in Asia today, with most neighboring bourses up on the day. We attribute the PSEi’s lagging performance to continued profit taking after a spectacular start to the year,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. President William Matthew M. Cabangon said in a mobile phone message on Wednesday.
The PSEi hit an intraday high for the year, so far, of 8,213.71 on Feb. 6, closing above the 8,100 level the next day at 8,100.30. It has since maintained a downward trajectory, which analysts described as a healthy correction.
For Diversified Securities, Inc. trader Aniceto K. Pangan, the market continued in correction mode due to the MSCI rebalancing. “Market continued its correction due to… portfolio adjustments related to the MSCI rebalancing, wherein it cut the weightings of key heavyweight stocks,” Mr. Pangan said via text.
Markets abroad rallied overnight on a tentative congressional spending deal to avert another US government shutdown and on optimism over Sino-US trade talks.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index jumped 1.49%, 1.29% and 1.46% respectively.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices, Shanghai SE Composite Index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and South Korea’s KOSPI index rose 1.34%, 1.06%, 1.84%, 1.16% and 0.50%, respectively.
Back home, most of the six sectoral indices moved into negative territory except for mining and oil, which managed to climb 0.49% or 41.89 points to 8,569.86.
The rest dropped: services by 1.44% or 23.25 points to 1,581.45, financials by 1.34% or 24.53 points to 1,803.66, holding firms by 1.18% or 94.70 points to 7,887.65, property by 1.06% or 42.75 points to 3,963.64 and industrials by 0.31% or 35.97 points to 11,438.16.
Foreign investors snapped 18 straight sessions of net buying with P246.034-million net sales.
“Upcoming corporate earnings have also led some to reduce their exposure to local equities, with about P245 million of net foreign selling today,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Cabangon said.
Turnover reached P7.27 billion after some 4.63 billion issues switched hands, compared to Tuesday’s 2.74 billion shares worth P7.24 billion.
Stocks that fell were nearly double those that gained 134 to 75, while 50 others ended flat.
Wednesday’s list of 20 most active stocks showed only three that gained: Pacifica, Inc. (30.77%), Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp. (12.35%) and Jollibee Foods Corp. (1.28%).