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Main index ekes out gain on Q3 GDP growth data

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PSE BGC bells

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

LOCAL SHARES barely moved on Thursday, weighed down by the slower-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) eked out a gain of 0.02% or 1.78 points to close at 7,035.71, managing to temper losses seen in intraday trading. The broader all-shares index, meanwhile, dropped 0.21% or 9.05 points to 4,289.87.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. noted that the release of third- quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data influenced the market. The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday that the economy grew by 6.1%, slower than the second quarter’s revised 6.2%.

“While this is not a bad signal, it does raise concern… Broadly however, the report shows services posting the fastest growth (6.9%) followed by industry (6.2%). Somewhat within expectations, agriculture slowed to 0.4%. On the demand side, household spending slowed further to just 3.5% (per capita),” the brokerage said in a research report.

The GDP growth print was also lower than the median estimate of 6.3% in a BusinessWorld poll of 15 analysts last week.

“This was in contrast to Asia and the US wherein rose sharply on Wednesday after the midterm election results came in about as expected, lifting a cloud of uncertainty that was weighing on the market,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 2.13% or 545.29 points to 26,180.30. The S&P 500 index climbed 2.12% or 58.44 points to 2,813.89, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 2.64% or 194.79 points to 7,570.75.

Asian markets also stayed mostly in positive territory, reflecting the gains on Wall Street after the United States midterm elections.

Sectoral indices were split between gainers and losers. The mining and oil counter led losers, giving up 7.02% or 691.47 points to 9,146.04, as sub-index heavyweight Semirara Mining and Power Corp. shed 10.03% to P26 apiece. The company said its net income fell by 23% to P8.9 billion in the first nine months of the year.

Services also went down by 1.32% or 18.99 points to 1,412.38, while holding firms slipped 0.06% or 4.20 points to 6,922.23.

On the other hand, property gained 0.73% or 24.99 points to 3,417.76. Industrials climbed 0.33% or 35.43 points to 10,687.93 and financials added 0.12% or 2.03 points to 1,591.87.

Some 1.56 billion issues valued at P8.39 billion switched hands, down from the previous session’s P46.50 billion which included the crossed shares by San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc. due to its follow-on offering.

Net foreign outflows stood at P668.31 million, compared to Wednesday’s P38.60-billion net purchases.

Decliners were almost double the advancers, 132 to 70, while 50 issues were unchanged.