Stocks retreat ahead of Fed event
The local stock barometer slipped on Friday as investors pocketed gains from the two-day run-up that retested the 7,800 barrier.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 37.5 points, or 0.48 percent to close at 7,766.47. Elsewhere in the region, sentiment was mixed ahead of a much-anticipated speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
“One event to look out for tonight (Friday night) and in the coming weeks would be the Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium where Chair Powell will take the main stage and is expected [to] give signals on the Fed’s direction for the rest of the year,” local stockbrokerage Papa Securities said.
“Recall how US dollar-Philippine peso [exchange rate] weakened [on Thursday] to move closer to its recent highs after the Fed’s latest minutes revealed that they could be raising by 25 basis points as early as September. Watch out for possible changes in tone as well given how [US President Donald] Trump has been recently outspoken with his disapproval and criticism of the US central bank’s hawkishness.”
At the local market, the PSEi’s decline on Friday was led by the financial counter, which slipped by 1.43 percent, while the industrial, services, mining/oil and property counters also dipped. Only the holding firm index modestly gained (+0.21 percent).
Value turnover for the day amounted to P7.22 billion. There were 122 decliners that overwhelmed 76 advancers, while 54 stocks were unchanged.
SMC continued to sizzle at the stock market, gaining 7.38 percent as investors factored in the values to be unlocked from the upcoming listing of flagship unit San Miguel Food and Beverage (SMFB). The latter also gained by 4.23 percent to close at P96 a share.
SMC had announced that it was selling 1.02 billion shares in SMFB at a maximum price of P140 per share.
Outside of the PSEi, notable decliners included Berjaya Philippines, which slid by 11.14 percent, while IRC fell by 6.78 percent as investors sold on news that Makati City was set to begin the bidding process for the intra-city subway program where IRC was the original project proponent.
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