THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE index (PSEi) failed to sustain strength seen for much of Friday, as profit-taking pulled the bourse back below the 8,000 line and capped a three-session rally.

PSEi opened 0.03% stronger at 8,004.27 and peaked at 8,077.51 on Friday before closing the day 33.59 points or 0.42% down at 7,967.98, which was also the day’s lowest point.

The Philippines’ bagging on April 30 of “BBB+” rating from S&P Global Ratings — its highest credit rating that is just a step away from “A”-level and three notches above minimum investment grade, as well as the first upgrade since the country first garnered investment-grade scores in 2013 from major debt watchers — fueled the main index to return above the 8,000 mark on May 2 (after the May 1 Labor Day holiday) after hovering just below that point for 12 sessions, or since April 10’s 8,008.53 finish.

The all-shares index gave up 6.83 points or 0.13% to finish 4,906.06 on Friday.

“Our index succumbed to profit-taking after surging above the 8,000 which started yesterday due to the credit upgrade that we received…” Timson Securites, Inc. Trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a mobile phone message on Friday.

Mr. De Celis cited index heavyweights Ayala Land, Inc. (down 1.25% to P47.40 apiece); SM Investments Corp. (down 1.03% to P960.00 each); SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (down 2.15% to P40.90 per share) and Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (down 3.70% to P52.00) as the biggest drag to the index’ 46-point loss.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan pointed out that “bets were made ahead of the inflation and GDP figures which will be out next week” as investors took the previous sessoins’ rally as an opportunity to sell before the macroeconomic reports.

Reuters reported on Friday that major Wall Street indices eased further on Thursday from recent record highs as energy shares dropped along with oil prices and investors continued to digest remarks of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who signaled on Wednesday that the US central bank could move later this year to cut interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 0.46% to end 26,307.79, the Nasdaq Composite Index went down 0.16% to 8,036.77, while the S&P 500 slid by 0.21% to finish 2,917.52.

Major Asian bourses were mixed on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix Index, South Korea’s KOSPI and India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index giving up 0.22%, 0.15%, 0.74% and 0.05%, respectively, while the Shanghai SE Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.52% and 0.46%, respectively.

Four of the six sectoral indices at home gained: mining & oil by 29.31 points or 0.38% to finish 7,738.36, services by 5.91 points or 0.36% to 1,614.45, industrials by 32.47 points or 0.27% to 11,832.1 and financials by 15.83 points or 0.9% to 1,774.46.

Two indices fell: property by 44.91 points or 1.04% to 4,273.31 and holding firms by 76.11 points or 0.99% to 7,592.28.

Stocks that advanced narrowly edged out those that dropped 102 to 100, while 50 other issues ended Friday flat.

Those that gained were led by the likes of Cemex Holdings Philippines, Inc. (5.99% at P2.30 apiece); Holcim Philippines, Inc. (4.68% at P13.42); International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (3.64% at P136.70); Puregold Price Club, Inc. (2.84% at P43.50); Megaworld Corp. (2.66% at P5.78); and BDO Unibank, Inc. (2.28% at P139 each).

Investors abroad led profit-takers, making Friday end with P68.157-million net foreign selling compared to Thursday’s P293.174-million net buying. — Janina C. Lim