Stocks end lower
Local stocks weakened for a second session Friday as investors continued to pocket gains from the rebound earlier in the week as the so-called “ghost month” period drew near.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 36.49 points or 0.54 percent to close at 6,763.62. For the week, the index gained 142.6 points or 2.15 percent as equities were boosted by President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) and positioning ahead of the second-quarter local corporate earnings reporting season.
“The market has again reached high levels and the ‘ghost month’ is nearing,” said Joseph Roxas, president of Eagle Equities Inc. The “ghost month” in the lunar calendar, which will run from Aug. 7 to Sept. 4 this year, is the period when many investors deem it unlucky to make big investment positions, likewise coinciding with the peak of summer vacation in the West, thereby resulting in thin trading volumes.
The day’s decline was led by the financial and services counters, which both tumbled more than 1 percent.
Value turnover was still thin at P5.63 billion as many investors preferred to stay on the sidelines. There were 60 advancers, which were edged out by 79 decliners, while 48 stocks were unchanged.
The day’s laggers were BDO (-3.15 percent), Megaworld (-2.54 percent), Manila Water (-2.37 percent), PLDT (-1.89 percent), Globe (-1.58 percent) and Metrobank (-1.53 percent). Ayala Land, SM Prime, Ayala Corp. and BPI also faltered.
On the other hand, the day’s index outperformers were Jollibee (+3.82 percent) and SMC (+3.61 percent) while Metro Pacific Investments, Energy Development Corp., Aboitiz Power, Belle, First Gen, SM and Petron also gained.
Across the region, sentiment was mixed ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on July 30-31. A Wall Street Journal article said the US Fed might rethink its guidance on the tapering of liquidity-inducing, asset-buying schemes and was expected to maintain stimulus and reassure investors of low rates.
On the other hand, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas agreed on Thursday to keep its key interest rates and overnight rates unchanged. Doris C. Dumlao