Market closed lower on first day of ‘ghost month’
The local stock barometer ended flat yesterday, the first day of the so-called “ghost month,” as investors chose to be cautious while the index neared all-time highs.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 0.8 percent or 0.01 percent to close at 8,015.93 while regional markets were mostly firmer.
Although the PSEi has hovered above the 8,000 for the last few days, this is still not seen as a decisive breakout.
With the index nearing the all-time high finish of 8,127.48 on April 10, 2015, several investors were tempted to either pocket gains or limit their exposure.
The PSEi was led lower by the financial, services and property sub-indices while the industrial, holding firm and mining/oil counters ended higher.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P6.12 billion. There were 112 decliners that overwhelmed 91 advancers while 37 stocks were unchanged.
The PSEi was weighed down by SM Prime, BDO, GT Capital and Megaworld, which all slipped by over 1 percent.
Ayala Land, SM Investments, Security Bank and Meralco also contributed to the decline.
On the other hand, Jollibee rose by 2.04 percent while Metrobank gained 1.37 percent. URC, ICTSI, BPI and DMCI also firmed up.
Outside of the PSEi, one notable gainer was Philweb, which surged by 17.18 percent after getting provisional license from state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. as an accredited electronic gaming service provider.
Nickel Asia likewise gained by 6.74 percent while Bloomberry rose by 2.95 percent.
On Tuesday, foreigners were net buyers although at a modest level of P12 million.
The ghost month, which will end on Sept. 19, refers to a period in the Lunar calendar when Chinese investors avoid making big-ticket investments or other big moves like getting married or moving to a new house. Trading volumes are usually thinner during this period.