Local stocks eased on Thursday after a slight gain the day before as geopolitical concerns weighed on the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi).
Despite starting on a positive note early in the trading session, the PSEi retreated by day’s end, finishing down just 0.04 percent, or 3.03 points to close at 6,889.89, while the wider All Shares index also slid by 0.01 percent or 0.51 points to close at 4,125.18.
Justino Calaycay Jr., equity analyst at Accord Capital Equities Corp., said that the early gains were from the extended Wednesday rally, but were later pushed back because of geopolitical concerns.
“The news cycle for today was fairly positive except for the constant risk factor of geo-politics,” Calaycay said.
He noted the PSEi strayed from the regional trend, being “the only bourse in the red.”
Sectoral indices were equally divided between winners and losers. The mining and oil and property sectors finished fairly well, with the latter ending up 16.66 points or 0.64 percent at 2,616.94, with mining and oil adding 90.63 points or 0.54 percent to 16,849.27. Holding firms also advanced, up 0.27 percent or 16.96 points to 6,201.65.
In the losing sectors, industrials were down by 0.73 percent or 77.13 points to 10,475.66, while services skid 0.03 percent or 0.70 points to close at 2,092.34. Financials likewise dropped a bit by 0.39 percent or 6.43 points to 1,639.39.
The top ten most active companies ended mixed. The decliners include Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (down 1.36 percent or P1.20 to P87.30), Alliance Global Group Inc. (down 1.11 percent or P0.30 to P26.70), and SM Prime Holdings Inc. (down 0.38 percent or P0.06 to P15.82).
Among the advancers were SM Investments Corp. (up 1.02 percent or P8 to end at P790 per share), PLDT (up 2.24 percent or P0.22 to P10.02), and Ayala Land Inc. (by 1.63 percent or P0.50 to P31.20).
Total volume traded was at 1.152 billion shares, with a total value of P6.7 billion. Decliners were well ahead of advancers, 90 to 79, while 54 shares were unchanged.
Harry Liu, president of Summit Securities Inc., said in a phone interview that the sideways trend of the market is due to its move going towards the medium-term consolidation phase.
“The market will go sideways for the next few days. Long term is still intact, given that the market will not go below 6,850,” Liu said.
“For the next few days, market is positioning towards the end of Ramadan, and the SONA [State of the Nation Address] of the President,” Liu saying, adding that the market will be “soft” once it enters the month of August, known as the Ghost Month for the local stocks.
Jason Escartin, investment at F. Yap Securities Inc., said investors are waiting for “second quarter earnings guidance while heeding for other business developments that could sustain momentum by year end.”
Eduardo Francisco, president of the Investment Banking Group at BDO Capital and Investment Corp., said in a text message that the market continued to have thin trade, which will be expected in the next few days.
“Volumes have not been heavy last few days. Expect sideways movement for he next few days,” Francisco said.
On Wednesday, the PSEi rose 0.33 percent or 22.98 points to close at 6,892.92, while the broader All Shares index increased by 0.24
percent or 9.90 points to 4,125.69.