STOCKS dropped on Thursday on profit taking and fears that the country’s wider balance of payments (BoP) deficit may cause the peso to weaken further versus the dollar.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 92.32 points or 1.5% to finish at 6,055.99 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index went down by 43.01 points or 1.31% to 3,223.61.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said the market declined as investors pocketed gains from the PSEi’s rise.

“Moreover, a wider balance of payments deficit in September weighed on sentiment as this may adversely affect the peso,” Ms. Alviar said in a Viber message.

The country posted a $2.3-billion BoP deficit in September, bigger than the $572-million deficit the prior month. This was also wider than the $412-million deficit seen in September 2021 and is the biggest since the $2.696-billion gap recorded in September 2018.

In the first nine months, the country’s BoP gap widened to $7.83 billion from the $665-million deficit posted in the same period in 2021.

The central bank expects the country’s BoP position to end the year at an $8.4-billion deficit equivalent to -2% of gross domestic product amid weaker global demand.

Meanwhile, the local unit closed at P58.94 per dollar on Thursday, inching sideways from its P58.945 close on Wednesday.

“Philippine shares took a breather after successive sessions in the green as funds decided to trim positions following Wall Street’s struggles to extend its two-day winning streak amid a sharp rise in yields,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

US stocks closed lower on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 99.99 points or 0.33%, to 30,423.81; the S&P 50 lost 24.82 points or 0.67% to 3,695.16; and the Nasdaq Composite went down by 91.89 points or 0.85%, to 10,680.51.

Back home, almost all sectoral indices ended lower on Thursday. Industrials slumped by 228.37 points or 2.58% to close at 8,606.01; holding firms went down by 151.71 points or 2.56% to 5,755.35; mining and oil lost 93.97 points or 0.87% to end at 10,669.25; property shed 18.17 points or 0.67% to close at 2,673.41; and services declined by 10.59 points or 0.66% to 1,576.36.

Meanwhile, financials gained 3.68 points or 0.23% to 1,545.21.

Value turnover went up to P8.23 billion on Thursday with 597.62 million shares changing hands from the P4.15 billion with 379.72 million issues traded on Wednesday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 107 versus 58, while 51 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling was recorded at P362.68 million on Thursday, a reversal from the P119.99 million in net buying seen on Wednesday. — Ashley Erika O. Jose