PH shares slump as ghost month spooks investors

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PHILIPPINE share prices retreated on Wednesday as the ghost month officially started, giving no impetus for a market already fretting over the weak earnings results of index heavyweight PLDT.

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August 3 marked the beginning of the ghost month, when most Chinese traders sell off and close their positions, AB Capital Securities Inc. equity research analyst Victor Immanuel Felix noted.

“I think they’d start trading again after August 20,” Felix said.

The benchmark PSEi fell 1.86 percent or 149.34 points to settle at 7, 888.444.The broader
All Shares Index declined 1.47 percent or 70.04 points to end at 4, 691.13.

Late July to August is also that time of year when most fund managers in Europe and the US go on vacation.

Value turnover totaled P13.5 billion. Losers outnumbered winners, 163 to 37, while 41 issues were unchanged.

“Profit taking extended today [Wednesday] following TEL’s first-half income report on Tuesday. Investors took it as an excuse to capitalize on their gains from the rally,” Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc., said in a text message to The Manila Times.

He said the break below the 7,960 level could signal a much deeper correction toward the 7,500-7, 800 levels in the near-term.

“The high valuation of the market has limited the . . . upside. This correction, if it continues, is a good opportunity for investors to reenter the local bourse,” he added.

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