Stocks dip on concerns over Duterte China trip


LOCAL equities ended Monday’s trading slightly lower as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China later this week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 0.42 percent or 31.09 points to 7,358.21 on Monday, while the wider All Shares index slipped 0.80 percent or 35.12 points to 4,367.57.

Harry Liu, president of Summit Securities Inc., said in a phone interview that trading was sluggish as investors opted to wait for the outcome of the President’s state visit to China from October 18 to 21.

“There seems to be lackluster trading as investors are waiting for developments concerning what will be transpiring with the visit of the president to China. For now, there has been a lack of demand by funds on our market, with the fear that US interest rates may be raised in December,” Liu said.

Liu said it would be positive for the market if the state visit would focus on strengthening economic and trade ties with Beijing.

“As long as the issue on Scarborough Shoal is not touched and the visit dwells more on the economic side, then that might be a positive push for the market,” Liu said.

“On the Scarborough Shoal issue, I don’t think the president is going to demand anything outright. I think it would be best if he established relations first, which will be beneficial to us,” he said.

“The market is still [hovering]at its 7,300-support [levels]. Hopefully it can hold on to these levels, even if there is an oversold environment. But given that it’s oversold, there may be some buying which can hopefully keep the market afloat from bearish levels” below 7,300 points, he added.

He said his long-term view for the main index remains positive, adding that optimism over year-end financial results and the “constructive development of foreign political policies of the president” would give a boost to equities.

Among the sub-indices, holding firms and mining and oil gained, while property was the biggest decliner, down by 1.41 percent.

Among the actively traded stocks, BDO Unibank Inc. ended flat, while the biggest losers were Ayala Land Inc., Metrobank, PLDT Inc., and Universal Robina Corp. The top gainers included Ayala Corp., Semirara Mining and Power Corp., Megaworld Corp., Security Bank Corp., and JG Summit Holdings Inc.

Volume traded reached 1.34 billion shares worth P6.72 billion. Advancers led decliners 94 to 86 while 47 issues were unchanged.

On Friday, the main PSE index rose 1.05 percent or 77.12 points to 7,389.30, while the wider All Shares index climbed by 0.76 percent or 33.09 points to 4,402.69


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