PHILIPPINE shares retreated for the third straight day on Tuesday as the market turned cautious ahead of a possible rate hike from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas later this week and with the conflict in Iraq seen to further inflate oil prices.
“Investors’ collective mind remains wrapped on the intensifying conflict in Iraq,” Accord Capital Equities, Corp. analyst Justino Calaycay said.
BPI Asset Management said Asian markets lost ground anew as crude oil prices continued to rise, testing nine-month highs, amid fears on the possibility of a spreading insurgency in Iraq.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 53.52 points or 0.79 percent to 6,704.93, while the wider all shares was down by 27.66 points or 0.68 percent at 4,030.14.
“The PSEI slipped by its biggest margin since losing 111.21 points May 29th, the day the disappointing Q1 GDP 2014 number was released,” Calaycay said.
All sectoral indices were in the red. Properties shed 49.91 points or 1.88 percent to 2,597.15, followed by financials, which fell 17.05 points or 1.07 percent to 1,578.60.
Industrials dropped 71.03 points or 0.69 percent to 10,297.85 and holding firms slipped 33.62 points or 0.55 percent to 6,116.40. Mining and oil also dropped 83.01 points or 0.54 percent to 15,256.34 while services slid 4.20 points or 0.21 percent to 2,001.73.
Trading volume was 1.6 billion shares valued at P7.7 billion. Decliners outnumbered gainers 131 to 53, with 35 issues unchanged.
Some of the top losers on Tuesday were Da Vinci Capital Holdings Inc., down 10.71 percent at P3.92; Greenergy Holdings Inc., down 9.09 percent at P0.01; Philippine Estates Corp., down 8.33 percent at P0.33; and Vivant Corp., down 7.69 percent at P12.
Industry giants and blue chip also slumped. Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., was down 0.14 percent at P2,846, Ayala Land Inc. was down 3.19 percent at P30.30, and BDO Unibank Inc. was down 2.52 percent at P88.90.
Calaycay said the index heavyweights were also hit by the sell-off because they all belong to industries that are “sensitive to interest rates”, and the Monetary Board meeting on Thursday is widely expected to touch on policy rates amid rising inflation.
“Market participants sought to position themselves ahead of the BSP’s Monetary Board meeting, which is set to take place this week. Speculation as to whether or not the BSP would hike rates during the upcoming meeting, in addition to the PSEi’s ongoing valuation concerns, weighed on investors’ minds,” BPI Asset Management said in its market daily report.
On Monday, local shares mirrored the losses in other Asian markets amid fears that escalating tension in Iraq would inflate global oil prices further. The composite index was down 26.50 points or 0.39 percent at 6,758.45 while the wider all shares lost 6.39 points or 0.16 percent to 4,057.80.