THE benchmark index snapped its climb on Thursday as investors went profit taking at the last minute, erasing gains seen intraday after telecommunications companies rallied.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched down by 1.62 points or 0.02% to close at 6,820.53 on Thursday. Meanwhile, the all shares index gained 6.49 points or 0.15% to 4,205.

“With most Asian markets on the downtrend as it awaits US Fed meeting on tapering stimulus plus [the] crackdown on Beijing private industries, [the] local market went into profit taking after consecutive days on the upside,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message.

Investors are waiting for the US Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole symposium on Friday and what US central bank chair Jerome Powell could say about tapering monetary stimulus.

“Last-minute profit taking pulled the market down to 6,820.53, declining slightly by 0.02% after the sharp rally yesterday,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“The PSEi ended flat despite another incredible day for blue chip telco issues, GLO (Globe Telecom, Inc.) and TEL (PLDT, Inc). The double-digit percentage gains in telco issues were not enough to carry the entire index higher because of its smaller weighting,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

Shares in Globe went up by 13.38% or P348 on Thursday to finish at P2,948 each, while PLDT stocks improved by 7.73% or P104 to close at P1,449 each.

Majority of sectoral indices closed in the red on Thursday except for services, which gained 53.20 points or 3.11% to close at 1,761.77, and mining and oil, which climbed 74.61 points or 0.81% to 9,262.87.

Meanwhile, holding firms dropped by 55.51 points or 0.81% to 6,781.90; industrials lost 65.72 points or 0.66% to 9,799.56; financials shed 9.40 points or 0.65% to 1,434.86; and property inched down by 4.19 points or 0.13% to 3,143.19.

Value turnover going up to P9.06 billion with 2.48 billion shares switching hands on Thursday, from the P6.48 billion with 1.8 billion shares traded the previous day.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 102 against 94, while 53 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying dropped to P190.9 million on Thursday from the P814.59 million logged on Wednesday.

“There is a strong possibility that markets will see a substantial pullback if the Fed confirms that it will begin to taper its quantitative easing policy,” Mr. Mangun said.

“We may see a pullback towards the end of the week as the PSEi comes up against resistance and investors begin to secure profits,” he added.

Diversified Securities’ Mr. Pangan expects the PSEi to trade between 6,500 and 7,100 today. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte