PSEi falls back below 8,000

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File photo of the Philippine Stock Exchange headquarters in Taguig City. Photo taken on Feb. 19, 2018. — PHOTO BY SANTIAGO JOSE J. ARNAIZ

THE MAIN INDEX ended the week back below the 8,000 mark for the first time in eight trading sessions on Friday, leading a fall across Asia as investors took profit ahead of top-level Sino-US trade talks at the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan this weekend.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gave up 57.93 points or 0.71% to end 7,999.71 on Friday — down 0.69% from June 21’s 8,055.47 finish — while the all-shares index dropped 30.53 points or 0.62% to close at 4,893.78.

“Our index managed to close less than 1 point below 8,000 after falling to as low as 7,951.34 due the selling activity among bluechip stocks that was triggered by the P11-billion peso block sale in BDO Unibank,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Jervin S. De Celis said in a mobile phone message when sought for comment, while Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said “markets succumbed [to] profit taking with all eyes focused [on] US Financial Stress Test and G20 watch.”

The Federal Reserve recently reported results of its annual stress test showing that the 18 biggest banks in the United States had sufficient capital, although the check also found weaknesses in Credit Suisse.

Timson Securities’ Mr. De Celis said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s statement that the United States and China were 90% near a trade deal ahead of talks in Osaka this weekend between US President Donald Trump and China Pres. Xi Jinping failed to buoy the market as “investors are staying cautious and want to see the results of the deal after the meeting in Japan.”

Reuters reported that hopes for progress towards resolving the long-running Sino-US trade war helped push the Nasdaq Composite Index up 0.41% to finish at 12,965.33 on Thursday and the S&P 500 index up by 0.38% to close at 2,924.92, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped by 0.04% to end at 26,526.58.

Much of Asia was down: Japan’s TOPIX and Nikkei 225 by 0.14% and 0.29%, respectively, while the Shanghai SE Composite index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, South Korea’s KOSPI and India’s S&P BSE SENSEX went down by 0.60%, 0.28%, 0.17% and 0.46%, respectively.

Most of the six sectoral indices at home ended in the red, except for mining & oil which gained 63.74 points or 0.84% to end 7,591.21.

The rest fell: industrials by 172.07 points or 1.44% to 11,701.75, financials by 18.49 points or 1.06% to 1,720.08, property by 29.02 points or 0.67% to 4,273.77, services by 5.77 points or 0.33% to 1,711.29 and holding firms by 22.33 points or 0.28% to 7,703.01.

Stocks that declined outnumbered those that gained 107 to 89, while 53 others ended flat.

Friday’s list of 20 most active stocks showed only three gained: Ayala Land, Inc. by 0.4% to P50.80 apiece, Abacore Capital Holdings, Inc. by 12.9% to P1.05 and Concrete Aggregates Corp. by 49.94% to P133.30 each.

Those that ended in the red were led by BDO which dropped 1.75% to finish P140 apiece; SM Prime Holdings, Inc. that gave up 2.11% to P37.10; Ayala Corp. that went down by 0.22% to P894; Globe Telecom, Inc. that fell by 0.79% to P2,262 and SM Investments Corp. which lost 0.62% to close at P969 each.

Trade volume increased to 1.299 billion shares worth P19.56 billion on Friday from Thursday’s 1.073 billion shares worth P8.404 billion.

Foreign investors remained largely bearish for the fourth straight day, ending Friday with P6.375 billion net selling that was the biggest net outflow in that period. — with inputs from JCL