PSEi slumps to 6,700 on oil, peso worries
The local stock barometer tumbled to the 6,700 level on Thursday, underperforming most regional markets, as foreign investors trimmed their equity position amid oil price and local currency jitters.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 107.48 points, or 1.57 percent, to close at 6,727.93 in thin trade.
For foreign investors, the weakening of the peso against the US dollar is a disincentive to hold local currency assets. There was a P551.11 million worth of net foreign selling for the day.
The peso is now trading past the 50 level against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, investors focused on the United States as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell began his two-day testimony before Congress, said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development. Facing sharp questions from Republican lawmakers, Powell shrugged off fears that inflation in the United States would remain high.
Concerns on volatile oil prices likewise kept the market at bay, Limlingan said.
Except for the mining/oil counter which gained 0.91 percent, the financial, holding firm, services and property counters all fell by over 1 percent.
Value turnover amounted to P4.89 billion.
There were 121 decliners that outnumbered 70 advancers, while 57 companies were unchanged.
Investors dumped shares of URC, which fell by 4.05 percent, while AEV lost 3.15 percent.
ICTSI, Globe Telecom, Ayala Corp. and RLC all declined by over 2 percent, while SM Investments shed nearly 2 percent.
Ayala Land and BDO both declined by over 1 percent, while SM Prime and PLDT slipped by less than 1 percent.
Notable decliners outside the PSEi included PHA and Cirtek, which fell by 3.49 percent and 0.56 percent, respectively, in relatively heavy volume.
The day’s most actively traded company was AC Energy, a strong candidate as a PSEi stock in the next index rebalancing.