The trading floor at the Philippine Stock Exchange headquarters in Taguig City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

STOCKS dropped further on Thursday to track Wall Street’s and Asian markets’ decline on continued profit taking and as the market looked for fresh trading drivers.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index fell by 71.08 points or 1.12% to end at 6,234.77 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index declined by 22.08 points or 0.65% to 3,329.58.

“This Thursday, the local market dropped by 71.08 points to 6,234.77. Investors took cues from Wall Street’s overnight performance wherein trading was cautious as investors await the US’ November labor market data,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research and Engagement Officer Mikhail Philippe Q. Plopenio said in a Viber message.

Market sentiment was also affected by the 2022 Program for International Student Assessment rankings, where the Philippines placed 77th out of 81 countries, he said.

“Additionally, the dismal ranking of the Philippines in the recent 2022 Program for International Student Assessment… was digested by investors. The results reflected our relatively challenged educational sector, which can have consequences on our economy’s competitiveness in the long run,” Mr. Plopenio said.

“The market was weaker today in tandem with most of the Asian markets. Local market weakness was exacerbated by profit-taking as we encountered resistance at the 6,300 level,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan added in a Viber message.

Asian shares fell with Wall Street on Thursday, while a sharp fall in oil prices to a six-month low and a soft reading on the US labor market boosted the global bond market, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8%, pulling it down 1.9% so far this month after a 7.3% rally in November. Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.7%.

Overnight, Wall Street was dragged lower by energy stocks as oil prices slid and by tech shares. The Dow Jones slipped 0.2%; the S&P 500 lost 0.4%; and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.6%.

At home, sectoral indices declined on Thursday. Financials dropped by 26.47 points or 1.52% to 1,705.73; services retreated by 21.33 points or 1.36% to 1,541.36; holding firms went down by 65.63 points or 1.09% to 5,912.04; property lost 13.84 points or 0.5% to end at 2,744.38; mining and oil dropped by 48.05 points or 0.49% to 9,640.50; and industrials declined by 41.13 points or 0.46% to 8,762.70.

“Among the index members, Wilcon Depot, Inc. was at the top, climbing 1.99% to P20.50. Ayala Corp. lost the most, dropping 3.1% to P640.00,” Mr. Plopenio said. 

Value turnover went down to P3.67 billion with 270.24 million shares switching hands from the P5.67 billion with 345.22 million issues seen the prior day.

Advancers edged out decliners, 83 against 82, while 49 names closed unchanged. 

Net foreign selling stood at P410.52 million on Thursday versus the P378.57 million in net buying logged on Wednesday. — RMDO with Reuters