• Stocks fall on PLDT losses, weak commodity prices


    Local shares closed lower for the second time this week on the back of extensive losses for Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and weak oil and gold world prices.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed down 0.18 percent or 13.20 points at 7,208.81, while the All Shares index inched up 0.005 percent or 0.20 points to 4,244.50.

    PLDT shares took a significant hit from investors, declining 5.02 percent or P158 to close at P2,990 apiece on the lower net income it reported for the third quarter.

    Manuel Pangilinan-led PLDT’s nine-month net income was at P27.96 billion, 3 percent lower than the P28.96 billion registered for the same period last year.

    Aside from the disappointing earnings result, PLDT also reduced its full-year profit guidance to P37 billion from the previous P39.5 billion on tighter competition in the mobile data arena.

    “The market was down by an extended sell-down of PLDT shares, and also hampered by weak global oil and gold prices,” Joyce Anne Ramos, analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said in a text message.

    “An important catalyst for tomorrow is the announcement of MSCI Philippines Index rebalancing,” she added.

    Ramos said PLDT has a weighted average of 10.56 percent in the country’s benchmark stock index as of Wednesday.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., agreed with Ramos, saying that the PSEi was hit by the decrease in PLDT shares and soft prices of oil and gold in the global markets.

    “PLDT was taking a hit because of the rather disappointing quarter…[the decline]was also because of the softening prices of commodities especially oil. It is reaching somewhere around a three-year low already,” Limlingan said.

    “For the next few days, we will be looking for leads in the US markets, and also, the upcoming export data from Europe, China, and Japan,” he added.

    Aside from the services and mining and oil counters being the biggest losers among the sectoral indices, the industrial index also edged down.

    Services went down 2.23 percent or 48.94 points to 2,145.56; mining and oil declined by 1.06 percent or 165.28 points to 15,420.10; and industrials slipped by 0.008 percent or 0.90 points to 11,610.89.

    Subindices that gained, on the other hand, were financials, up 1.36 percent or 22.72 points at 1,697.71; holding firms advanced 0.32 percent or 20.16 points to 6,341.93; and property inched up 0.18 percent or 5.07 points to 2,802.85.

    Aside from PLDT, the session’s biggest losers were Universal Robina Corp., Ayala Land Inc., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company and Security Bank Corp. The most active gainers, on the other hand, were BDO Unibank Inc., Puregold Price Club Inc., Ayala Corp., SM Investments Corp., and Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.
    Shares traded amounted to 3.72 billion, valued at P9.08 billion. Decliners just nipped advancers, 87 to 86, while 54 issues were unchanged.

    On Tuesday, the benchmark stock index declined 1.24 percent or 90.84 points to close at 7,222.01, while the wider All Shares index decreased 0.98 percent or 42.04 points to 4,244.30.


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