PHILIPPINE SHARES retreated on Thursday as investors pocketed gains ahead of the release of US consumer price index data.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down 69.86 points or 0.93% to close at 7,432.62 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index lost 26.84 points or 0.67% to end at 3,924.74.

“Shares succumbed to profit taking ahead of the latest US consumer price index (CPI) data tonight,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message on Thursday.

Global markets are waiting for the latest US inflation data as this could dictate the speed of the Federal Reserve’s planned rate hikes.

The Fed is broadly expected to begin raising rates at its March meeting although there is no clarity about the pace of tightening, Reuters reported.

Data due later on Thursday are expected to show US consumer inflation racing at a 7%-plus annualized clip, a level reminiscent of the inflation shocks of the 1970s and 1980s.

“The local bourse declined as investors booked gains at 7,500 resistance level. We think that catalysts in the market are still not enough for the main index to hold ground above 7,500,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research and Engagement Officer Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

Ms. Alviar added the higher unemployment rate in December had little effect on the market.

“In addition, the increase in the unemployment rate could be temporary until January and we may see this figure dropping starting February,” she added.

The unemployment rate inched up to 3.27 million or 6.6% in December from the 5.6% or 3.16 million in November, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday.

COL Financial Group, Inc. Chief Technical Analyst Juanis G. Barredo noted the index failed to hold on to its intraday gains.

“The weak swing repositions the index back to its consolidation pattern, previously held down by 7,475 resistance,” Mr. Barredo said in a Viber message.

Most sectoral indices dropped during Thursday’s session except for mining and oil, which climbed 256.72 points or 2.37% to 11,058.08, and property, which gained 25.33 points or 0.75% to end at 3,389.85.

Meanwhile, holding firms sank 130.83 points or 1.82% to 7,039.19; services tumbled 34.12 points or 1.69% to 1,978.01; industrials fell 66.09 points or 0.60% to 10,782.75; and financials slipped by 0.44 point or 0.02% to 1,754.40.

Value turnover climbed to P10.48 billion with 1.31 issues traded on Thursday from the P8.41 billion with 975.43 million shares that switched hands in the previous session.

Decliners narrowly beat advancers, 101 versus 97, while 55 names remain unchanged.

Net foreign buying went down to P407.82 million on Thursday from the P428.86 million on Wednesday. — MCL with Reuters