• Share market flat ahead of FOMC meeting


    PHILIPPINE stocks were flat on Monday as investors opted to stay on the sidelines while waiting for the outcome of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting later this week.

    After dipping below 7,100 points in early trade, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished Monday’s session little changed, down 0.01 point at 7,103.54, while the broader All Shares slipped 10.73 points or 0.26 percent to 4,185.14.

    Despite the positive performance of US stocks on Friday, most investors stayed out of the trading floor on caution ahead of the FOMC two-day meetings. On Friday, the Dow Jones gained 127.51 points or 0.75 percent, the S&P 500 added 13.76 points or 0.71 percent, and Nasdaq advanced 30.92 points or 0.69 percent.

    “The market just moved sideways,” Jonathan Ravelas, Banco de Oro vice president and chief market strategist, said in a brief phone interview.

    “In the coming days, fresh leads will come from the FOMC meetings. Investors are waiting to see whether the Fed will decide on a taper or not,” he said.

    “Right now, we’re expecting the market to continue its sideways movement with the downside at 7,000 points and the upside at 7,200 points,” Ravelas added.

    Among the sectoral indices, financials and holding firms found some support.

    Financials inched up 0.61 points or 0.04 percent to 1,651.14 while holding firms were up 15.33 points or 0.25 percent at 6,140.98.

    The rest of the indices posted declines. Industrials were down 35.39 points or 0.31 percent at 11,440.39, services dipped 2.38 points or 0.11 percent to 2,191.26, property fell 9.83 points or 0.36 percent to 2,737.47, while mining and oil slumped 205.90 points or 1.30 percent to 15,608.52.

    Among the top 10 actively traded stocks, only SM Investments Corp. ended flat. Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc., Premium Leisure Corp., and Security Bank Corp. were the top gainers.

    The top losers included Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Ayala Land Inc. and GT Capital Holdings Inc.

    Decliners overwhelmingly outnumbered advancers 120 to 53, while 47 shares were unchanged. Volume traded on Monday totaled 17 billion shares valued at P5.6 billion.

    On Friday, the bellwether PSEi dipped by 12.58 points or 0.18 percent to 7,103.55 while the All Shares also declined by 3.96 points or 0.81 percent to 4,195.87.


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