PSEi lackluster ahead of BSP policy meeting
The local stock barometer started the week on a flat note on Monday as investors traded with caution ahead of the upcoming monetary setting of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Against a backdrop of mixed sentiment across regional markets, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 2.61 points or 0.03 percent to close at 8,235,54.
The index fell to as low as 8,169 for the day but found support from bargain-hunters who were ready to pick up stocks whenever the main index dips to the 8,100 levels.
Papa Securities said the PSEi’s major support level was at 8,050.
“Looking forward, investors are now definitely awaiting the results of the BSP’s monetary policy this coming Thursday on March 22,” Papa Securities said. “Given that a rate hike may have already been discounted with the market’s recent weakness, it won’t be far off to see the market already reaching its bottom before the month ends.”
The market was weighed down most by the mining/oil counter, which fell by 4.63 percent, while the industrial counter also slumped by 1.02 percent.
The services and property counters also slipped.
On the other hand, the financial and holding firm counters were modestly higher.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P8.48 billion. There were 168 decliners that edged out 62 advancers while 37 stocks were unchanged.
Investors dumped shares of Semirara, which fell by 6.66 percent. One of its power plant units which had recently seen an unplanned shutdown is back online, which leaves another unit still under repair.
Jollibee fell by 2.42 percent while Metrobank, JG Summit and Megaworld all lost over 1 percent.
SM Prime and Metro Pacific also slipped.
Stocks which were previously lifted by speculative plays also succumbed to profit-taking. Now Corp., a third telco aspirant, slid by 22.28 percent while MRC Allied fell by 17.65 percent.
PXP Energy, which benefited from talks on Philippine-China joint oil exploration, slipped by 14.14 percent.
Bloomberry declined by 3.63 percent.
On the other hand, Ayala Corp. bucked the day’s downturn with its 2.02-percent gain, while property arm added 1.22 percent.
BDO gained 1.64 percent while SM Investments, PLDT and RRHI all firmed up.
Outside the PSEi, Pilipinas Shell added 1.75 percent.
LRWC surged by 12.06 percent on news that its Boracay casino project would proceed. LR warrants also jumped by 19.95 percent.
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