• Market flat on day one of ‘ghost month’

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    Philippine shares capped Wednesday with almost zero gains, as the so-called “ghost month,” when Oriental investors traditionally avoid doing major investments decisions, officially started.

    The ghost month, which began on Wednesday and will last until September 4, overlaps with Western summer holidays. This concurrence usually results in thin regional trade.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) barely moved with 0.01-point gain toward 6,420.79, while the wider all-shares index gathered only 1.28 points, or 0.03 percent to 3,923.56.

    Also, all the sectoral indices concluded Wednesday’s session flat, with holding firms falling by 0.78 percent, or 45.93 points to 5,808.52.

    Property managed to gain 0.94 percent, or 23.09 points to 2,490.05, followed by mining and oil, which went up a bit by 0.40 percent, or 58.37 points to 14,487.01.

    Industrial followed with 0.33-percent increase, or 31.81 points to close at 9,616.43, while services only accumulated 1.14 points, or 0.06 percent to 2,031.55. The financials counter was flat with a 0.02-percent gain, or 0.32 points to 1,538.38.

    Total value turnover went even thinner at P4.9 billion, with advancers edging decliners, 69 to 49. Fifty-one issues were unchanged.

    The top 10 actively traded stocks on Wednesday were SM Investments Corp., Ayala Land Inc., Alliance Global Group Inc., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Universal Robina Corp., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Manila Electric Co., Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Security Bank.

    “Will the ‘ghost’ trump earnings? This appears to be one question that now bugs investors heading into mid-August. A good number of companies have already reported their second-quarter and first-half numbers and the results have been consistent with expectations,” Jun Calaycay, Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst, said the previous day.

    “Yet the market continues to trek south, apparently sharing in the prevailing pessimism felt across the region as China’s debt burden looms large,” he added.

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