By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

LOCAL EQUITIES fell on Monday as they succumbed to the region’s weakness following strong jobs data from the United States last week.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 0.81% or 66.42 points to close at 8,051.52 yesterday, reversing gains seen in the previous session. The broader all-shares index likewise dropped 0.65% or 32.21 points to 4,913.47.

“The index wasn’t immune from the weakness in the region… Weakness may have come from strong US jobs data last Friday, given the upcoming [US Federal Reserve] meeting later this month where the market is already expecting at least a 25 basis points cut,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.

The US Labor department reported on Friday that nonfarm payrolls rose to 224,000 in June, way beyond market expectations of 165,000. Unemployment rate, meanwhile, went up to 3.7%.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan noted that the strong jobs data has decreased the possibility for the US Federal Reserve cutting interest rates in its next policy meeting.

“Fed’s Powell (Fed Chairman Jerome Powell) delivers the monetary policy report to House and Senate panel will be a key event to watch this week, which will include the Fed’s minutes to be released on Wednesday,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

With the jobs report, Wall Street indices ended with losses on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.16% or 43.88 points to 26,922.12; the S&P 500 index slumped 0.18% or 5.41 points to 2,990.41, while the Nasdaq Composite index decreased 0.10% or 8.44 points to 8,161.79.

Asian indices mostly fell on Monday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down by 0.98% or 212.03 points to 21,534.35.

Back home, the mining and oil counter was the lone sector that ended with gains, adding 0.39% or 29.30 points to 7,468.59.

The rest ended in negative territory led by services with a drop of 1.35% or 23.04 points to 1,676. Holding firms shed 0.93% or 73.12 points to 7,724.09; financials plunged 0.79% or 13.92 points to 1,728.09; property retreated 0.63% or 27.95 points to 4,351.80; while industrials slipped 0.12% or 15.15 points to 11,973.17.

Some 949.01 million issues valued at P5.63 billion switched hands, slightly higher than Friday’s P5.49 billion.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 119 to 74, while 50 names were unchanged.

Net foreign outflows rose to P319.03 million from the previous session’s P35.37 million.

“Market movement for tomorrow could be dictated by how US markets move tonight, in response to further moves from the aforementioned jobs data,” Papa Securities’ Mr. Perez said on Monday, noting that support is at 8,000 while resistance is at 8,139.