PSEi closes flat as investors await inflation data

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PSE bells

By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX ended mostly unchanged on Wednesday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the inflation report at the end of the week.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slipped 0.01% or 0.92 point to close at 8,092.68, suffering losses despite strong gains in the morning session. The broader all-shares index likewise went down 0.04% or 2.08 points to 4,939.63.

“Our index ended flat today after the trade truce between US and China bolstered market sentiments for two days. Investors are probably anticipating the inflation data that is due on July 5,” Timson Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a text message on Wednesday.

The Philippine Statistics Authority will release official June inflation data this Friday.

“Market could continue in this sideways movement as the index waits on June’s inflation figure to be released on Friday,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.

A BusinessWorld poll of 12 economists yielded a 2.9% median estimate for June inflation. This is toward the higher end of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) own estimate range of 2.2-3%. If realized, this would be slower than May’s actual inflation of 3.2% and June 2018’s 5.2%.

“The inflation report might determine whether the BSP will opt to be more lenient in their policy in the next meeting,” Mr. De Celis added.

Four sectoral indices ended in negative territory, led by mining and oil which plunged 1.6% or 123.54 points to 7,566.59. Services fell 0.92% or 15.86 points to 1,698.67; financials dropped 0.38% or 6.7 points to 1,721.11; while holding firms declined 0.04% or 3.3 points to 7,814.47.

In contrast, industrials climbed 0.66% or 79.09 points to 11,921.16, while property firmed up 0.21% or 9.53 points to 4,352.

Turnover climbed to P7.62 billion after some 1.31 billion issues switched hands, versus the previous session’s P5.93 billion.

Decliners trumped advancers, 98 to 90, while 63 names were unchanged. Foreign investors turned net buyers at P273.71 million, snapping a six-day net selling streak that ended with Tuesday’s P145.25 million.

Overseas, markets had different sentiments about the truce between the United States and China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.26% or 69.25 points to 26,786.68. The S&P 500 index edged higher by 0.29% or 8.68 points to 2,973.01, while the Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.22% or 17.93 points to 8,019.09.

It was a different story for Asian indices, where investors worried about the lack of details on the supposed truce between the two nations. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slumped 0.53% or 116.11 points to 21,638.16. The Hang Seng index went down 0.25% or 71.99 points to 28,803.57, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.94% or 28.68 points to 3,015.26.