‘Ghost month’ jitters drag PH shares lower


The market continued its correction on Monday as investors opted to take profit on recent
gains in the absence of fresh leads and as caution set in ahead of the traditional Chinese “ghost month.”

Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst Justino Calaycay said traders are now aware of the upcoming Chinese ghost month, from July 27 to August 24.

Calaycay explained that the ghost month also coincides with a one- to two-week break that fund managers in the West usually take.

During this period trade volumes usually thin out, he said.

“Regional markets are relatively strong already so the weakness is a local issue. Maybe high valuations and anticipation of the ghost month are the causes,” Miko Sayo, analyst at
Nieves Securities Inc., said in a text message.

On the Philippine Stock Exchange, the main index fell 70.72 points or 1.03 percent to 6,830.37, while the wider all shares dropped 33.87 points or 0.82 percent to 4,102.63.

“Following a mild roller-coaster ride in the immediately preceding week, investors are seen to take a pause and wait for new leads,” Calaycay said.

All the sectors ended lower with property recording the largest fall of 1.33 percent or 35.27 points to 2,618.59, followed by holding firms, which retreated 74.95 points or 1.21 percent to 6,137.97.

Industrials declined by 96.42 points or 0.92 percent to 10,340.70, while mining and oil lost 138.03 points or 0.84 percent to 16,386.13. Financials were down 13.94 points or 0.84 percent at 1,642.72 while services dropped by 6.04 points or 0.29 percent to 2,070.13.

Trading volume stood at 2.1 billion shares valued at P5.2 billion. Decliners beat advancers 117 to 51, while 53 stocks were unchanged.

Some of the most actively traded stocks were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., up 0.33 percent at P3,010; Alliance Global Group Inc., down 2.96 percent at P27.85; BDO Unibank Inc., down 0.99 percent at P90.10; Ayala Land Inc., down 1.91 percent at P30.80; and Ayala Corp., down 2.64 percent at P646.50.

On Friday, Philippine shares finished in negative territory as global developments, particularly the sudden prospect of Portugal slipping into default, rattled world markets.

The benchmark index closed down 36.12 points or 0.52 percent to 6,901.09, while the wider all shares shed 20.10 points or 0.48 percent to close at 4,136.50.


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