By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
LOCAL EQUITIES fell on Wednesday amid a lack of catalysts, alongside foreign investors’ net selling.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) plunged 1.24% or 99.04 points to close at 7,889.12, falling further down the 7,800 level. The broader all-shares index likewise dropped 0.95% or 46.75 points to 4,849.36.
“Index fell today, dropping 99 points to close at 7,889.12, on a round of net foreign selling of P251 million. Flattish movement from US markets last night didn’t help with the lackluster sentiment felt today,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail on Wednesday.
Foreign investors snapped their four-day net buying streak, recording net outflows of P250.66 million on Wednesday against the previous session’s net purchases reaching P1.21 billion.
For Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan, the PSEi’s movement was mainly due to a lack of leads.
“The market drifted on lack of catalysts as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony reiterated the central bank’s wait-and-see approach,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile message.
The US Federal Reserve has adopted a more cautious stance on future interest rates as it sees the US economy to be healthy despite “crosscurrents and conflicting signals.”
Markets abroad ended in the red although with minimal losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 0.13% or 33.97 points to 26,057.98. The S&P 500 index dipped 0.08% or 2.21 points to 2,793.90, while the Nasdaq Composite index ended 0.07% lower or 5.16 points to 7,549.30.
Back home, four sectoral indices moved to negative territory, led by holding firms which plummeted 1.88% or 151.83 points to 7,917.54. Services tumbled 1.34% or 21.33 points to 1,562.87; property shed 1.25% or 51.07 points to 4,018.40, while industrials slipped 1.23% or 145.12 points to 11,577.53.
Meanwhile, financials climbed 0.83% or 14.59 points to 1,761.63. Mining and oil also added 0.07% or 6.50 points to 8,686.65.
Shares in PLDT, Inc. were among the most actively traded for the day, slumping 4.37% to close at P1,050 on Wednesday. This followed President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s threats to shut down the firm over its anti-graft hotline, which the president said was “always busy.”
Turnover slipped to P7.43 billion after some 1.96 billion issues switched hands, versus the previous session’s P10.93 billion.
Decliners were almost double the advancers, 123 to 69, while 63 names were unchanged.
“Issues to watch out for would be if net foreign selling still continues for the last two days of the week, and if US markets would weaken tonight more so that the S&P 500 is already near the critical 2,800 resistance level,” Papa Securities’ Mr. Perez said on Wednesday.