THE MAIN INDEX ended in negative territory on Tuesday as investors took caution ahead of the policy review of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as well as the United States’ and United Kingdom’s central banks, all slated later this week.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index fell 0.37% or 29.61 points to 7,843.41. The broader all-shares index dropped 0.25% or 12.13 points to 4,833.29.
“It was mostly sideways action for the Philippine market before finally settling in the red territory as part of the Fed Watch, US-China trade relations and Brexit roadblock steering the market,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message on Tuesday.
Market participants are bracing for Thursday as the US Federal Reserve decision comes out at 2 a.m. Manila time, while the BSP’s will be out at 4 p.m., and the Bank of England’s at 8 p.m. on the same day.
“Investors are going to take cues if the officials of these banks will be bullish or bearish for this year,” Timson Securities, Inc. trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a mobile message on Tuesday.
All sector counters were in the red. Mining and oil slumped 1.2% or 99.09 points to 8,148.28; financials slid 0.66% or 11.90 points to 1,772.19; industrials dropped 0.5% or 58.49 points to 11,575.17; property went down 0.43% or 17.64 points to 3,996.31; holding firms shed 0.19% or 15.13 points to 7,760.51; and services inched down 0.11% or 1.74 points to 1,573.26.
Decliners trumped advancers, 104 to 89, while 44 issues were unchanged.
Value turnover totaled P5.97 billion as 1.39 billion shares switched hands, slightly higher than the P5.32 billion on Monday when volume was at 1.70 billion shares.
Foreigners turned sellers, dumping shares amounting to a net P70.34 million, reversing the net purchases of P406.76 million posted in the previous session.
Most Southeast Asian stock markets were also subdued in thin trading on Tuesday, with Indonesia falling the most, as investors remained on sidelines ahead of the US Federal Reserve policy meeting, and policy decisions by some regional central banks.
The Federal Reserve is likely to hold interest rates at its policy meeting, waiting until the third quarter before raising rates once more, according to a Reuters poll.
The Indonesian index was the worst hit in the region, dipping 0.4%. Consumer stocks led declines as Bank Indonesia is expected to keep rates on hold at their meeting on Thursday despite the country recording the lowest inflation in nearly a decade.
Singapore’s benchmark fell marginally with industrial majors Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd. and Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd. slipping 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Thai index moved up 0.3% recovering from three straight sessions of losses, ahead of the Bank of Thailand policy meeting on Wednesday. — JCL with Reuters