PH stocks drift amid US Fed policy concern

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The Philippine bourse tracked losses on the global stock markets amid concern over the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting set for Thursday night.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) drifted lower after listless trade on Wednesday, closing down 32.52 points or 0.42 percent at 7,756.58.

The wider All Shares index shed 19.90 points or 0.44 percent to end at 4,502.19.

Miguel Agarao, investment analyst at Wealth Securities Inc., said in a brief phone interview investors focused on the possible outcome of the Fed meeting, uncertain whether Fed chief Janet Yellen will drop hints on the interest rate hike issue.


“Volatility in the global markets is still there and we expect the correction to continue,” Agarao said.

Jason Escartin, analyst at F. Yap Securities Inc., said the “market paused as investors waited for the US Federal Reserve’s policy announcements.”

Investors unloaded some interest-rate sensitive stocks to trim their holdings, he said.

The US markets ended mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Index posting a 128.34-point decline, the S&P 500 dropping 6.91 points, and the Nasdaq gaining 7.93 points.

The sectoral indices were also mixed, with financials, holding firms and mining and oil advancing, and industrials, services, and property declining.

The most active stocks also showed mixed results: SM Investments Corp. ended flat, while Universal Robina Corp., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Ayala Corp. and BDO Unibank Inc. gained. Active decliners included Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Ayala Land Inc., Megaworld Corp., Energy Development Corp. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.

Total volume traded was light at 1.03 billion shares, valued at P8.15 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 126 to 51, while 42 issues closed unchanged.

On Tuesday, the benchmark stock index rose 0.75 percent or 58.15 points to 7,789.10, while the wider All Shares index gained 0.54 percent or 24.50 points to 4,522.09.

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