Volatility hammers stock market, peso


The stock market and the peso plummeted anew on Thursday, succumbing to the volatility that has hammered markets worldwide since the start of the year.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) plunged by 2.8 percent, nearly entering the 5,000 level as it lost 175.33 points to end the day at 6,084.28. It was the lowest close since February 10, 2014’s 6,042.25.

The wider All Shares index also fell, by 2.39 percent or 86.04 to 3,519.58.
The peso, meanwhile, hit another six-year low, losing five centavos to close at P47.94 to $1.

“The PSEi was decimated on Thursday, dropping by more than 2 percent as both foreign and local players unloaded shares, dragging the peso with it,” said Nicholas Antonio Mapa, associate economist at the Bank of the Philippines Islands.

Lexter Azurin, head of equity research at Unicapital Securities Inc. said “the market broke its 6,100 support level with the same reasons  . . . China’s economic slowdown, oil prices and Wall Street.”

“[T]he problem really is the outlook of investors in the global market has continued to deteriorate,” he added, noting that there were no immediate “catalysts” that could salvage the local equities market from continuing volatility.

“On the bright side, however, the valuation of shares at this low is very attractive to those who have not yet participated in the equity market. We have not traded this low for quite sometime,” Azurin said.

Luis Limlingan, head of research and sales at Regina Capital Development Corp., said:
“For those who have yet to participated in the equity market, they should now position themselves and get ready to plunge in, while those who have just came in, they just simply need to hold on.”

All subindices were in the red, with holding firms posting the largest decline at 3.98 percent. Value turnover totaled reached P7.399 billion, with losers outnumbering gainers, 136 to 34, while 40 issues remained unchanged.

The peso, meanwhile, opened at P47.94 to $1 at the Philippine Dealing System before trading between P47.78 and P47.95. Total volume transacted fell to P584.4 million from P608.7 million previously.


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