THE MAIN INDEX dropped to the 6,100 level on Wednesday as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of August US consumer price index (CPI) data and amid rising oil prices.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down by 81.02 points or 1.3% to end at 6,149.18 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index dropped by 28.62 points or 0.85% to close at 3,330.81.

“The market fell to its lowest close since October 2022, triggered by heightened investor caution ahead of the US August inflation print as well as worries about rising oil prices,” Juan Paolo E. Colet, managing director at China Bank Capital Corp., said in a Viber message.

“Everyone’s attention will be on the US consumer price index report, and the data will determine whether our market rebounds or continues its descent in the coming days,” Mr. Colet added.

The PSEi declined as investors pocketed gains ahead of the release of US CPI data overnight, Luis A. Limlingan, head of sales at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a Viber message.

US consumer prices likely increased by the most in 14 months in August amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, but an expected moderate rise in underlying inflation could encourage the US Federal Reserve to keep interest rates on hold next Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The consumer price report from the Labor department on Wednesday will be published a week before the Fed’s rate decision. It would follow on the heels of data this month showing an easing in labor market conditions in August.

The consumer price index likely increased by 0.6% last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists. That would be the largest gain since June 2022 and would follow two straight monthly advances of 0.2%.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose by 2% on Tuesday amid tighter supply outlook and as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries projected the global oil demand to rise by 2.25 million barrels per day in 2024, Reuters reported.

Brent crude was up by 1.6% or $1.42 to $92.06 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude increased by 1.8% or $1.55 to $88.84 a barrel. Both benchmarks closed at their highest levels since November 2022.

Back home, almost all sectoral indices dropped on Wednesday, except for mining and oil, which rose by 4.52 points or 0.04% to 10,393.65.

Meanwhile, holding firms declined by 90.71 points or 1.52% to 5,857.30; property fell by 37.06 points or 1.43% to 2,546.63; industrials dropped by 123.28 points or 1.37% to 8,817.59; services decreased by 13.71 points or 0.9% to 1,509.01; and financials lost 13.49 points or 0.74% to end at 1,790.04.

Value turnover went up to P4.73 billion on Wednesday with 740.94 million shares changing hands from the P3.97 billion with 535.63 million issues seen on Tuesday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 100 to 70, while 47 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling dropped to P436.53 million on Wednesday from P961.49 million on Tuesday. — SJT with Reuters