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PSEI quivers, backtracks to 7,500 level

/ 05:31 AM September 08, 2018

The stock barometer slipped back to the 7,500 level on Friday as foreign investors shied away from equities due to concerns on rising local inflation and currency slump on top of emerging market jitters.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 40.07 points, or 0.53 percent to close at 7,598.64, tracking the decline across most stock markets in the region.

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The PSEi fell to as low as 7,526.73 in intraday trade but losses were trimmed at the close.

For the week, the index lost a total of 257.07 points, or 3.3 percent from last week’s finish.

The PSEi was dragged down by the interest rate-sensitive property counter, which fell by 1.52 percent.

With inflation surging to a nine-year high of 6.4 percent in August, investors are bracing for further increases in interest rates after a 100-basis point cumulative hike already sanctioned by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas so far this year.

The financial, holding firm, services and mining/oil counters also slipped.

Only the industrial counter defied the downturn, adding 1.04 percent.

Value turnover for the day amounted to P6.3 billion.  Net foreign selling for the day amounted to P1.42 billion.  It was the third straight session that net outflows exceeded P1 billion, mirroring the sharp depreciation of the peso against the US dollar.

Despite the PSEi’s decline, market breadth was positive, which meant that some investors turned to second-liner and smaller issues for buying opportunities.

Joseph Roxas, president of local stock brokerage house Eagle Equities Inc., said most investors have long pared their blue chip holdings and were looking for opportunities outside the main index.

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There were 103 advancers that edged out 89 decliners, while 46 stocks were unchanged.

The PSEi was weighed down the most by conglomerate Ayala Corp., which lost 2.86 percent.  It was the day’s most actively traded company.

The PSEi’s decline was tempered by the 4.36-percent gain eked out by Metro Pacific.

JG Summit likewise added 2.4 percent, while URC and Jollibee advanced by close to 2 percent.

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