PHILIPPINE STOCKS retreated on Tuesday due to last-minute profit taking after the index hit the 7,000 level intraday for the first time in almost a month, and amid expectations that inflation picked up further in March.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 0.27% or 19.38 points to end at 6,960.43 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index fell by 0.26% or 9.69 points to close at 3,626.71.

“This Tuesday, the local market dropped by 19.38 points (-0.28%) to 6,960.43 due to last-minute profit taking,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research and Engagement Officer Mikhail Philippe Q. Plopenio said in a Viber message.

The PSEi opened Tuesday’s session at 7,016.93 and hit an intraday high of 7,070.72. This was the first time the main index rose to the 7,000 level since March 4, when it recorded a high of 7,021.04 during the session.

“Investors seemed to have priced in the likelihood that March inflation has accelerated and possibly even exceeded the government’s target range of 2% to 4%. This comes after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projected inflation to settle within 3.4% to 4.2%,” Mr. Plopenio said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority will release March inflation data on Friday.

“Adding to the woes was the slowdown of the local manufacturing sector’s expansion for March as seen in the S&P Global Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index reading of 50.9, slower than February’s 51,” he added.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan added that Wall Street’s performance overnight also affected market sentiment.

US stocks edged lower on Monday, dragged down by investor worries over the timing of interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve after stronger-than-expected manufacturing data pushed Treasury yields higher, Reuters reported.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 240.52 points or 0.6% to 39,566.85; the S&P 500 lost 10.58 points or 0.2% to 5,243.77; and the Nasdaq Composite gained 17.37 points or 0.11% to 16,396.83.

At home, sectoral indices were mixed. Financials retreated by 1.07% or 22.09 points to 2,042.83; holding firms went down by 0.85% or 55.91 points to 6,518.54; and property declined by 0.05% or 1.48 points to 2,847.66.

Meanwhile, services rose by 1.47% or 27.30 points to 1,883.33; mining and oil climbed by 0.4% or 32.48 points to 8,157.85; and industrials went up by 0.02% or 1.92 points to 9,053.22.

“Among the index members, Monde Nissin Corp. was at the top, climbing 5.82% to P11.28. San Miguel Corp. lost the most, dropping 3.99% to P103.40,” Mr. Plopenio said.

Value turnover rose to P6.54 billion on Tuesday with 715.07 million issues switching hands from the P5.49 billion with 1.19 billion shares traded on Monday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 105 versus 88, while 45 issues closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying climbed to P781.54 million on Tuesday from P464.45 million on Monday. — R.M.D. Ochave with Reuters