• PSEi falls on Wall Street dive

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    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped on Thursday as the local market joined other Asian markets in reacting to Wall Street’s steep decline overnight.

    The benchmark stock index closed 102.98 points or 1.44 percent lower at 7,072.10, while the wider All Shares index erased 58.67 points or 1.39 percent to close at 4,162.22.

    The US markets were hit hard by concerns over global oil prices, which are showing signs of breaking below $60 per barrel.

    Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 268.05 points, while the S&P 500 declined 33.68 points and the Nasdaq lost 82.44 points.

    Miguel Agarao, analyst at Wealth Securities Inc., said in a phone interview that the PSEi was influenced by the losses in US markets, dragging down not only the Philippine markets, but also the Asian markets.

    “The US markets declined by 1.6 percent to 1.7 percent last night, so the rest of the markets are just following it,” Agarao said.

    “Aside from the US markets lead, the China bond collateral concerns were a negative factor for the Asian markets including the Philippines,” he added.

    Agarao also said that most of the foreign net selling is coming from the property stocks, which had the most losses during the Thursday trading session.

    For his part, Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said that though the US markets caused the sell off, it was partly offset by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ report of an increase in the country’s foreign direct investments (FDI).

    “Greece comes back to the global crosshairs while oil prices are on the brink of breaking into the $50 per barrel range. This overshadowed a 117 percent year on year increase in FDI the BSP reported yesterday ahead of a Monetary Board meeting later today,” Calaycay said.

    For the next few days towards year-end, Calaycay said the “the belief in a Santa Claus rally is fading” as the PSEi is already on a five-day decline, “scaring off even the most ardent ‘correction watchers’.”

    Both Calaycay and Agarao agreed that the Philippine markets are looking for leads in the international scene in the next few days, and still trading in the 7,000 to 7,400 points band.

    Sectoral indices once again ended in the red: Financials were down 1.28 percent or 21.42 points at 1,655.25; industrials slipped 0.69 percent or 81.59 points to 11,756.18; holding firms decreased 1.32 percent or 83.76 points to 6,239.75; services pulled back by 1.74 percent or 36.06 points to 2,041.65; mining and oil skid by 1.62 percent or 250.26 points to 15,220.34; and property slumped by 2.01 percent or 56.43 points to 2,745.66.

    Energy Development Corp and Ayala Land Inc. were gainers among the day’s most actively traded issues, while PLDT, Bloomberry Resorts Corp., Universal Robina Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Nickel Asia Corp., Ayala Corp., BDO Unibank Inc., and Xurpas Inc. all declined.

    Total volume on Thursday reached 2.12 billion shares, valued at P9.5 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers, 162 to 24, while the unchanged stood at 46.

    On Wednesday, the benchmark PSEi lost 8.79 points or 0.12 percent to close 7,175.08, while the broader All Shares index also 4.67 points or 0.11 percent to close at 4,220.89.

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