PSE index falls ahead of Sept. inflation report

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PSE BGC bells

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

LOCAL SHARES fell on Monday as investors stayed on the sidelines while anticipating the release of inflation figures on Friday.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) started the first trading day of October and the fourth quarter on a negative note, giving up 0.75% or 54.74 points to finish at 7,222.08. The broader all-shares index also lost 0.51% or 22.83 points to 4,442.09.

“It was a slow and unenthusiastic start for October as the PSEi fell by as much as 100.62 points to its intraday low… Value turnover was noticeably weak at only P4 billion — which could be due to participants anticipating September’s inflation figure on Friday, Oct. 5,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.

Turnover weakened to P4.2 billion yesterday after some 705.5 million issues switched hands, compared to Friday’s P6 billion.

“We might see more of the low value turnover we’ve seen [on Monday] in the next few days as the market awaits Friday’s inflation release,” Mr. Perez added.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said concerns are growing ahead of the next inflation report after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) gave an estimate of 6.3-7.1% for the September reading.

“The BSP has given a wide range, painting the possibility that this could hit as high as 7.1%,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

In addition to its estimate range, the BSP said September inflation could have printed at 6.8%, while the Department of Finance said it could be unchanged from August’s 6.4% record.

The flat performance of international markets also failed to lift sentiments for the local index. Markets in the United States were mostly flat on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.07% or 18.38 points to 26,458.31. The Nasdaq Composite index went up 0.05% or 4.39 points to 8,046.35, while the S&P 500 index slipped by 0.02 points to 2,913.98.

Most Asian indices also logged flat finishes as the China was closed for the Golden Week Holiday. The Hong Kong market was also closed for National Day celebration.

Back home, four sectoral indices ended in negative territory, including industrials which slumped 1.61% or 172.23 points to 10,475.30. Holding firms dropped 1.38% or 99.36 points to 7,060.57; mining and oil shed 1.31% or 117.88 points to 8,854.12; while property dipped 0.11% or 4.28 points to 3,616.56.

Meanwhile, services gained 0.48% or 7.25 points to 1,502.22, while financials barely moved, adding only 0.12 point to close at 1,620.68.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 101 to 75, while 53 names remained unchanged.

Foreign investors continued their selling spree, widening net outflows to P677.5 million from last Friday’s P29.1 million.