THE main index  inched lower on Wednesday ahead of the release of corporate earnings reports of companies here and abroad due to profit taking amid a less positive outlook for the country.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down by 11.44 points or 0.18% to close at 6,274.80 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index increased by 0.17 point to 3,381.53.

“Philippine shares were flat as fund managers’ attention was diverted to the US, with traders betting on robust corporate earnings reports and wagered that markets had found a bottom,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“Oil prices rose as traders worried about tight supplies and a weaker dollar,” Mr. Limlingan added.

“The market opened in the positive territory due to the positive spillover effects in the US market driven by strong US corporate earnings. However, the PSEi ended the day eking out today’s gains as profit taking pressures dominated the afternoon, snapping its two-day rally,” Unicapital Securities, Inc. Equity Research Analyst Ralph Jonathan B. Fausto said in a Viber message on Wednesday.

“We can attribute the profit-taking done by investors today from the downward 2022 GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast revision by Fitch, which cited inflationary pressures to impede the economic growth,” Mr. Fausto added.

Fitch Ratings cut its GDP growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.5% this year, from 6.9% previously, citing continued inflationary pressures due to high prices of food and other commodities.

The revised forecast is within the Philippine government’s target of 6.5-7.5% this year.

The majority of sectoral indices ended in the green on Wednesday except for property, which went down by 17.91 points or 0.62% to 2,841.91, and holding firms, which decreased by 4.61 points or 0.07% to 5,888.41.

Meanwhile, mining and oil went up by 268.70 points or 2.45% to 11,201.53; services climbed by 3.43 points or 0.20% to 1,643.47; industrials increased by 17.56 points or 0.18% to 9,428.83; and financials inched up by 0.18 point or 0.01% to end Wednesday’s session at 1,481.07.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 103 versus 81, while 40 names closed unchanged.

Value turnover climbed to P5.03 billion on Wednesday with 733.64 million shares changing hands from the P3.793 billion with 1.07 billion issues seen the previous trading day.

Foreign sellers turned buyers anew to P22.65 million on Wednesday from the P227.51 million in net selling seen the previous trading day.

“We expect the market to continue to trade sideways [on Thursday] as investors wait on the sidelines ahead of the US interest rate decision in its FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting on July 26-27,” Unicapital Securities’ Mr. Fausto added.

Mr. Fausto placed the PSEi’s support at 6,100 and resistance at 6,400, while Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan put support at 6,160 and resistance at 6,400. — J.I.D. Tabile