Philippine shares slipped as investors mostly kept to the sidelines ahead of the first-quarter data on gross domestic product (GDP) due for release this week.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 0.62 percent or 48.64 points to close at 7,761.53, while the All-Shares index dipped 0.59 percent or 26.72 points to 4,466.82.
Lexter Azurin, analyst at Unicapital Securities Inc., said investors were “staying on the sidelines as they wait for the GDP results to come out” on Thursday.
“Trading activity was quite limited. Volume today is only about P5 billion, less than the [daily]average… GDP is likely to dictate the direction of the market in the next few weeks, so investors in general are being cautious,” Azurin said.
There were “no surprises on the upsides” from the first-quarter corporate earnings results reported recently, he added.
The market over the past few days has been looking hard put to justify current valuations, which had led to a consolidation mode.
“The first-quarter GDP will be the main catalyst. It will definitely be the market driver in the next few weeks. If it [GDP growth] is near 7 percent, then that is likely to boost the market. But if we see the figure below estimates, that will be detrimental for the market,” Azurin said.
The services sector led the decline with a 1.10 percent fall.
Among the most actively traded stocks, Universal Robina Corp., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Ayala Corp., Megaworld Corp., GT Capital Holdings Inc., Ayala Land Inc., Manila Electric Company, Bloomberry Resorts Corp., and BDO Unibank Inc all ended lower. Jollibee Foods Corp. finished flat.
Total trade volume stood at 683.58 million shares, valued at P6.93 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 115 to 53, while 56 issues closed unchanged.