Philippine stocks fall ahead of long weekend, Ghost MonthBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Local stocks fell sharply in thin trade on Thursday as investors trimmed their position ahead of the long weekend and ahead of the so-called Ghost Month.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 47.15 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,219.51. All counters closed in the red but the biggest decline was posted by the property counter which slumped by 1.42 percent.
The main index was weighed down by Metrobank (-2.69 percent), AC (-0.89 percent), ALI (-2.39 percent), SMIC (-2.13 percent), Megaworld (-1.33 percent), SM Prime (-0.85 percent), Meralco (-2.4%), Aboitiz Power (-0.43 percent), ICTSI ( -2.86 percent), URC (-1.62 percent) and Globe (-0.52 percent).
Those that bucked the downturn were AGI, First Gen, PLDT and DMCI.
Dealers said the market also priced in on Thursday the impact of recent changes in the closely watched MSCI index. During the latest MSCI main index review that will take effect on August 31, there were weight reductions on Meralco and Metrobank and an increase on URC. There was likewise a weight reduction on Security Bank in the investible market indices and global small-cap indices.
Gus Cosio, president of First Metro Asset Management Inc., said that as most investors had likely realized their objectives, this was a matter of selling on news. “People want to consolidate their position as valuations are pretty close to where a lot of analysts put them,” he said.
On the MSCI index review, the following were among the key changes in the main Philippine index. There were weight decreases on Metrobank (-1.49 percent) and Meralco (-1.26 percent). On the other hand, there were weight increases on SM Investments (+0.33 percent), URC (+0.32 percent), PLDT (+0.24 percent), ALI (+0.22 percent), as well as small weight increments on SM Prime, AEV, BDO, AC, AP and ICTSI.
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