Shares inched lower on Wednesday on profit taking after the market’s two-day climb, tracking Asian shares’ decline as June inflation was within expectations.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slipped by 2.08 points or 0.03% to end at 6,512.39 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index declined by 2.78 points or 0.08% to close at 3,469.75.

“The index closed above the 6,500 level due to the strong close by the big index names. Overall, investors are still on the sidelines given the low value turnover that we are experiencing for the past few days,” Mercantile Securities Corp. Head Trader Jeff Radley C. See said in a Viber message.

Value turnover rose to P3.82 billion on Wednesday with 522.37 million shares changing hands from the P2.24 billion with 773.84 million issues seen on Tuesday.

“The local bourse declined by 2.08 points to 6,512.39 on profit taking after the two consecutive days of market gains. The market’s losses were trimmed at the last minute given the cooling inflation rate at home. However, since many investors had already priced in this data, it did not significantly boost market sentiment,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“Additionally, the sentiment was negatively influenced by the performance of Asian markets, which were predominantly in the red, as investors digested the service activity data from Japan and China, indicating a slowdown,” Ms. Alviar added.

Headline inflation slowed to 5.4% in June from 6.1% in May and June 2022, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Wednesday.

This was a tad lower than the 5.5% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll conducted last week and was near the low end of the central bank’s 5.3-6.1% forecast for the month.

For the first six months, inflation averaged at 7.2%, still higher than the central bank’s 2-4% target and 5.4% forecast for the year.

Meanwhile, Asian shares fell on Wednesday after a slowdown in China’s services activity dented sentiment and as markets turned their focus to the release of US Federal Reserve minutes and a key US jobs report later in the week for the rate outlook ahead, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei also fell 0.3%, on profit taking from investors after climbing to three-decade highs.

At home, the majority of sectoral indices fell on Wednesday except for financials, which went up by 2.61 points or 0.14% to 1,838.74, and holding firms, which climbed by 7.30 points or 0.11% to 6,480.55.

Meanwhile, mining and oil dropped by 65.14 points or 0.65% to 9,901.25; industrials went down by 46.52 points or 0.5% to 9,168.30; property declined by 6.55 points or 0.24% to 2,643.66; and services slipped by 0.14 point to 1,571.83.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 97 versus 69, while 61 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling rose to P22.2 million on Wednesday from P16.7 million on Tuesday. — AHH with Reuters