Shares decline anew amid lack of fresh catalysts

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

STOCKS RETREATED on Thursday as investors remained on the sidelines amid a lack of fresh leads.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slipped 0.2% or 15.73 points to close at 7,750.42 yesterday, snapping its two-day ascent. The broader all-shares index likewise fell 0.32% or 15.66 points to 4,785.01.

“The lack of fresh catalysts is keeping investors cautious and they are being very selective as we wait for developments from the Sino-US trade deal,” Timson Securities, Inc. equities trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a mobile phone message on Thursday.

US President Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he is in “no rush” to complete the trade deal with China, despite expectations that he will hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month in his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida.

Mr. De Celis also noted that the Financial Times Stock Exchange index (FTSE) rebalancing will take effect on Friday, which may have influenced the market.

Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said the FTSE rebalancing will see the addition of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (JGS), San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc., (FB) and San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

The three firms were among the 20 most actively traded stocks for the day, although all recorded losses. Shares in JGS dropped 2.37% to P61.70 each; FB slumped 3.07% to P104.10 apiece; while SMC slipped 0.23% to P172 each.

“Apart from that, US index movement tonight could still have an impact tomorrow, more so if the S&P 500 continues to breakout from its resistance area,” Mr. Perez said in an e-mail on Thursday.

Four sectoral indices moved to negative territory, led by industrials which plunged 0.56% or 65.53 points to 11,551.98. Property dropped 0.39% or 15.45 points to 3,902.86; holding firms dipped 0.3% or 23.38 points to 7,671.73; while financials went down 0.13% or 2.44 points to 1,762.36.

In contrast, mining and oil jumped 1.66% or 132.39 points to 8,079.75, while services climbed 0.23% or 3.63 points to 1,572.20.

Some 1.80 billion issues switched hands valued at P5.60 billion, slightly higher than the previous session’s P5.14 billion.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 107 to 77, while 49 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors turned buyers, recording net purchases of P322.87 million versus a net selling position of P110.51 million on Wednesday.

Wall Street indices firmed up on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 0.58% higher or 148.23 points to 25,702.89. The S&P 500 index gained 0.69% or 19.40 points to 2,810.92, while the Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.69% or 52.37 points to 7,643.41.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asian stock markets remained subdued on Thursday in thin trade as investors chose to wait and watch after a mixed set of economic data.