PHILIPPINE stocks dropped on Monday as investors made bets ahead of economic data to be released this week and the US central bank’s policy meeting.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 40.88 points or 0.56% to end at 7,252.64 on Monday, while the broader all shares index fell 21.89 points or 0.56% to finish at 3,847.51.

“Philippines shares closed in the red as many [are] beginning to make bets ahead of a busy week on the economic calendar,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is set to release the fourth quarter and full-year 2021 gross domestic product report as well as latest trade data on Thursday, Jan. 27.

“The US Federal Reserve’s meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, however, will likely set the tone for how markets are going to fare throughout the week, with investors awaiting any new clues on how much the central bank will raise interest rates this year and when it will start,” Mr. Limlingan said.

Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said some markets in the region also traded lower as investors chose to wait for the result of the US central bank’s monetary policy review.

Asian shares slipped on Monday as investors braced for a Federal Reserve meeting at which it is expected to confirm it will soon start draining the massive lake of liquidity that has supercharged growth stocks in recent years, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.7% and Japan’s Nikkei 0.1%. Chinese blue chips added 0.4%, perhaps aided by the recent easing in policy by Beijing.

The Fed is widely expected to raise rates three times this year starting as early as March, median forecasts from a Reuters poll showed. Almost half expect the central bank to hike rates at least four times.

Juanis G. Barredo, chief technical analyst at COL Financial Group, Inc., said in a Viber message that Figaro Coffee Group, Inc.’s market debut also affected sentiment.

All sectoral indices ended in the red. Financials decreased 21.13 points or 1.27% to 1,637.81; mining and oil tumbled 128.63 points or 1.22% to 10,402.25; holding firms lost 48.81 points or 0.67% to end at 7,141.33; services retreated 11.17 points or 0.56% to 1,961.94; industrials gave up 34.38 points or 0.33% to close at 10,381.77; and property slid 0.65 point or 0.02% to 3,177.80.

Value turnover rose to P6.05 billion with 1.96 billion issues traded on Monday, from the P5.52 billion with 2.15 billion shares that switched hands on Friday.

Decliners beat advancers, 127 against 62, while 48 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers on Monday with P117.84 million in net purchases versus the P210.76 million in net outflows logged on Friday. — MCL with Reuters