• Weak data, US rate hike fears pull down stocks

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    The stock market fell by over 1 percent on Thursday due to continued fears of a US interest rate hike as well as weak Philippine export numbers.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 73.90 points or 1.06 percent to end the day at 6,909.82, while the wider All Shares index declined by 0.79 percent or 31.95 points to 4,007.08.

    Alexander Adrian Tiu, equity analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said the market was “following fears” of a likely Federal Reserve rate hike next month.

    Aside from this, Tiu said third quarter corporate earnings were “not that high as people thought it would be like PLDT [Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company].”

    “Overall, it is a function of the Fed and local earnings. Of course, the poor exports data also factored … People are looking at its impact to GDP [gross domestic product]for the quarter,” Tiu said.

    Philippine merchandise exports registered their steepest dive in four years in September, plunging by 24.7 percent to $4.4 billion from a year earlier.

    Tiu said the market would be digesting final earnings reports due this week, with the support level at 6,800 to 6,900 and resistance at 7,000 to 7,200.

    Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance Inc., said a “last minute sell-off dampened [sentiment of]bargain hunters” on Thursday.

    He also noted a continuing string of disappointing data from China that bolstered views of an economic slowdown.

    Del Castillo said the PSEi would “look at the other markets as a direction” and that the movement below 7,000 points could encourage bargain hunting.

    Only the mining and oil subsector increased on Thursday, by 0.34 percent. The rest declined, led by the property sector that fell by 2.23 percent.

    Total volume reached 2.947 billion shares valued at P6.5 billion. Advancers and decliners were tied, 77 to 77, while 50 issues were unchanged.

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