Shares drop on cautiousness ahead of GDP report

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PSE bells

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

LOCAL EQUITIES tumbled on Monday as investors adopted a wait-and-see mode ahead of the release of 2018 economic growth figures this week.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) retreated 0.49% or 39.66 points to close at 8,007.46 yesterday, managing to close above the 8,000 mark despite falling back to the 7,900 level intraday.

The broader all-shares index likewise slipped 0.12% or 5.92 points to 4,799.

“I think the market right now is on a sideways movement as it is clinging on to the 8,000 level. (There is also) lackluster volume and value due to Philippine GDP (gross domestic product) data which will be out on Thursday which took investors on a wait- and-see mode,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said via text.

A BusinessWorld poll of 16 analysts yielded an estimate of 6.3% for both the fourth quarter and full-year 2018 GDP growth figures. The annual estimate is below 2017’s actual pace of 6.7%, and misses the revised 6.5-6.9% target set by the government for 2018.

The Philippine Statistics Authority will release official GDP numbers on Jan. 24, Thursday.

“The lack of positive catalysts can also be a factor on why markets edged lower,” Mr. Tan said.

Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez, meanwhile, attributed the drop to the movement of foreign funds for most of the day.

“Initial weakness may have come from some profit taking as net foreign selling was present for most of the day. This only reversed to the minimal inflow of P52 million at the close after the buy-up,” Mr. Perez said in an e-mail.

Even though foreign investors held their net buying position at the end of the day, it was at a measly P52.93 million compared to the previous session’s net inflow of P1.30 billion.

All sectoral indices ended in negative territory, except for the property counter which gained 0.77% or 31.03 points to close at 4,048.38.

Meanwhile, services plunged 1.8% or 28.08 points to 1,532.05, followed by financials which dropped 0.88% or 16.05 points to 1,799.58. Mining and oil shed 0.73% or 64.40 points to 8,757.37; holding firms slumped 0.51% or 41.11 points to 7,962.08; while industrials dipped 0.2% or 23.49 points to close the session at 11,627.36.

Some 1.98 billion issues valued at P5.67 billion switched hands, slimmer than Friday’s P8.44 billion.

Decliners swamped advancers, 114 to 86, while 45 names were unchanged.

The PSEi failed to mirror the positivity in Wall Street’s major indices on Friday, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.38% or 336.25 points to 24,706.35. The S&P 500 index rose 1.32% or 34.75 points to 2,670.71, while the Nasdaq Composite index firmed up 1.03% or 72.77 points to 7,157.23.