PSEi falls on Ruby worries

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The local bourse closed lower for the first time this week as concern over an upcoming typhoon triggered mild profit-taking, snapping a four-day run.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was down 0.83 percent or 60.90 points at 7,299.85 at closing bell, while the All Shares index dropped 0.63 percent or 26.97 points to finish at 4,287.90.

“I think it’s just profit-taking. Also, Typhoon Ruby is seen [coming], most probably the working days will be shortened,” Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance Inc. managing director, said in a brief phone interview.

Typhoon Ruby (international codename: Hagupit) has intensified to super-typhoon strength, and is being closely watched by forecasters for possible landfall in the Philippines over the weekend or early next week.

Asked if the potential calamity would dampen the “Santa Claus rally” projected for the market over the next few days, del Castillo said that prospects remain good, with a lot of other factors contributing to the usual year-end advance.

“Not really affecting the year-end rally. The government is preparing for the typhoon, and investors are buying this year in preparation for next year [as election spending intensifies],” del Castillo said.

“We’ll see how big the scale of destruction would be from the typhoon. It depends.

Other than the typhoon, there are also some factors that can pull up the market for the next few days. But the upside is already limited—just some advance buying for next year,” he added.

Among the sectoral indices, mining and oil gained 0.49 percent or 77.72 points to 15,913.93, while the property index inched up 0.03 percent or 0.91 points to 2,876.51.

The other counters all ended lower: Financials, down 0.58 percent or 9.88 points at 1,703.23; industrials slipped 0.16 percent or 19.65 points to 11,997.41; holding firms were 1.002 percent or 64.64 points lower at 6,384.59; and services shed 1.50 percent or 32.65 points to 2,137.03.

The most active issues included gainers Metrobank, SSI Group, and SM Investments Corp., and decliners BDO Unibank Inc., PLDT, Bloomberry Resorts Corp., LT Group Inc., Energy Development Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., and Xurpas Inc.

Trade volume was modest at 2.005 billion shares with a value of P9.41 billion. 47 issues ended the day flat, while decliners outnumbered advancers, 105 to 73.

On Wednesday, the PSEi gained 0.22 percent or 16.52 points to 7,360.75. The All Shares index dipped 0.04 percent or 1.72 points to 4,314.87.

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