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Stocks slip as factory activity shrinks

/ 05:14 AM September 02, 2021

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) pulled back on Wednesday as factory output contracted due to the pandemic-induced economic slowdown, an analyst said on Wednesday.

By the closing bell, the PSEi lost 1.01 percent, or 69.50 points, to 6,785.94 while the broader all-shares index was down 0.24 percent, or 10.32 points, to 4,215.26.

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Chris Mangun, research head at stock brokerage firm AAA Equities, said the decline was likely due to recent data showing weakness in the manufacturing sector.

“The large contraction in factory output according to the Philippines’ purchasing managers’ index (PMI) may have been a factor for lightening positions,” he said in a research note to investors.

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The PMI fell to 46.4 in August, below the 50-mark that denotes a contraction. This is also the lowest in 15 months.

“The large number of cases from the greater Metro Manila areas of Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan, where a lot of manufacturing facilities are located, could be the reason for the perceived slump in factory output,” he added.

Most subsectors also closed in negative territory on Wednesday save for mining and oil and financials, which rose 0.76 percent and 0.69 percent, respectively.

Losers were led by property and holding firms, down 1.69 percent and 1.41 percent, respectively.

Volume also accelerated on Wednesday with 2.02 billion shares valued at P8.8 billion changing hands. There were 101 gainers against 97 decliners, while 41 companies closed unchanged.

Despite Wednesday’s weakness, Magnun said the PSEi still recovered losses caused by “panic selling on the expectation of tighter restrictions.”

“It is currently up 8 percent from its July lows, although it may start moving sideways considering the current risks,” he added.

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AC Energy Corp. was the most actively traded company on Wednesday as it gained 2.82 percent to P9.86 per share.

It was followed by Philippine Seven Corp., down 0.82 percent to P85; Globe Telecom, up 1.47 percent to P2,760; Converge ICT Solutions, up 3.23 percent to P32; PLDT Inc., up 0.96 percent to P1,479; and Ayala Corp., down 0.57 percent to P788 per share.

—Miguel R. Camus
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TAGS: Local Stock, Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), Stock Market
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