PHL stocks extend decline amid lack of catalysts

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THE bellwether index continued its descent on Wednesday despite bouncing back to 8,000-territory intraday, as shares traded sideways due to lack of concrete catalysts.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed to an intraday high of 8,037.91 but succumbed to weakness at the closing bell, ending yesterday’s session at 7,872.65, 0.42% or 33.95 points lower.

The all shares index also dropped by 0.34% or 16.17 points to close at 4,707.74.

“Basically there’s no catalyst to bring the market higher. We tried today to [climb to] 8,000, its cap resisted again below 8,100, so meaning to say, there is no news around the market that is bullish enough to pierce 8,100. So what’s happening is just purely technical sideways [trading],” Summit Securities, Inc. president Harry G. Liu said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

“Investors are just watching the market on the sidelines, or vying on fundamental strength support, that’s about it,” Mr. Liu added.

For Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing director Luis A. Limlingan, the decrease was part of the usual slowdown in the month of August.

“Another round of selldown ensued for the Philippine markets as part of the traditional ‘ghost month’,” Mr. Limlingan said.

080317PSEiThree sector counters reflected the performance of the PSEi, with the holding firms sub-index leading the decline as it gave up 1.12% or 88.77 points to 7,827.91. This was followed by services, which fell by 0.6% or 10.12 points to 1,657.60. The industrials counter dipped 0.33% or 36.74 points to 10,975.41.

On the other hand, the three other sectors closed in positive territory, with property gaining 0.64% or 23.93 points to 3,737.71. Financials added 0.30% or 5.98 points to 1,958.25; and the mining and oil closed 0.15% or 19.24 points higher at 12,847.92.

Advancers narrowly beat decliners, 99 to 92, while 55 issues were unchanged.

A total of 1.16 billion shares changed hands for a value turnover of P7.03 billion, higher than Tuesday’s P6.18 billion.

Summit Securities’ Mr. Liu further noted the positive outlook on the initial public offer of logistics firm Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. on Aug. 8, saying investors have been watching the company headed by Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy, who is known as a close friend of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The analyst said the sideways trade could continue until the end of the week, unless major catalysts crop up.

Other Southeast Asian markets were rangebound as investors digested the recent slew of economic data.

Broader sentiment was upbeat with Asian technology stocks hitting 17-year peaks as strong earnings from Apple rippled out to component makers globally, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ascending to a record high overnight. The DJIA neared the 22,000 mark, powered by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and other banks. — A.B. Francia with Reuters