THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE index (PSEi) retreated back below the 7,500 mark on Friday from Thursday’s gain that had otherwise snapped six straight sessions of losses, as lack of compelling leads gave way to pessimism in the face of a huge storm that was expected to hit Luzon’s farms hard on Saturday at a time of spiking inflation.
PSEi fell by 104.22 points or 1.38% to close 7,413.15 — down for the second straight week and by 2.44% from its Sept. 7 finish — while the all-share index gave up 47.01 points or 1.02% to end 4,555.3.
Both Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Jervin S. de Celis and Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan cited lack of leads to enable the market to sustain Thursday’s gains, giving way to pessimism as supertyphoon Manghkhut — locally called Ompong — barreled towards Luzon packing 205 kilometer-per-hour winds and gusts of up to 255 kph. Among areas expected to be hit hard are some of the country’s key production centers in Luzon of rice, which has been instrumental in fueling inflation to multiyear highs lately.
“The last-minute selling activity pushed our index down to 7,413 as the typhoon may have dampened investor sentiment since it still remains under category 5 so they might be assessing the devastating effects of it,” Mr. de Celis said in a mobile message on Friday, while Mr. Limlingan noted that there was “little market-making developments” that could have lifted sentiment.
“Despite hefty gains in most Asian markets, the Philippine market ended the day in the red,” RCBC Securities, Inc. said in its Stock Market Weekend Recap prepared by research analyst John Paolo D. Ayson, identifying property firms SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Land, Inc. as well as holding firms SM Investments Corp. and JG Summit Holdings, Inc. as having “the most negative impact on PSEi, dragging the index by a combined 63.58 points”.
Reuters reported on Friday that technology stocks’ rebound and easing trade worries as China welcomed fresh talks with the United States fueled Wall Street’s rise, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.57% to 26,145.99, the Nasdaq Composite Index gaining 0.75% to 8,013.71 and the S&P 500 climbing 0.53% to 2,904.18.
Improved prospects of Sino-US trade talks also enabled most Asian markets to extend gains, with the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices increasing by 1.2% and 1.09%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng going up by 1.01%, the blue-chip Shanghai-Shenzhen CSI 300 edging up 0.17% and the MSCI AC Asia Pacific rising by 0.90%.
All six sectoral indices back home lost: property by 73.11 points or 1.94% to 3,694.4, industrials by 174.36 points or 1.56% to 10,948.94, holding firms by 103.35 points or 1.4% to 7,251.91, services by 9.65 points or 0.63% to 1,517.51, mining & oil by 56.38 points or 0.57% to 9,717.24 and financials by 9.61 points or 0.57% at 1,667.29.
Stocks that declined outnumbered those that gained 115 to 67, while 46 others were flat.
Friday’s list of 20 most active stocks showed only Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. gained, rising 0.96% to P5.28 apiece and by 0.57% to P53.20 each.
BDO Unibank, Inc. and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. steadied at P117 and P68.60 apiece, respectively.
Those that lost on Friday included IRC Properties, Inc.; GT Capital Holdings, Inc.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; Manila Electric Co., Bloomberry Resorts Corp.; SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Jollibee Foods Corp.; Ayala Land, Inc. and SM Investments Corp. whose prices dropped 6.87% to P2.44 apiece, 4.12% to P815, 3.97% to P52, 3.66% to P368, 3.04% to P8.92; 2.93% to P36.40, 2.89% to P269, 2.38% to P41 and by 1.37% to P935 each, respectively.
Trading volume thinned to 715.862 million shares worth P6 billion from Thursday’s 738.471 million worth P6.067 billion.
Foreigners remained predominantly bearish for the 12th straight session, with net sales doubling to P815.355 million from Thursday’s P398.026 million as total sales grew 5.55% to P3.999 billion from P3.788 billion and total acquisitions dropped 6.11% to P3.183 billion from P3.39 billion. — with J. C. Lim