Traders snub inflation report as PH shares barely budge

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed flat on Wednesday after the latest inflation print in September showed prices accelerating 6.9 percent—well within the government’s projections.

The benchmark measure crawled up by 0.01 percent, or 0.87 points, to 5,988.59 while the broader All Shares index added 0.3 percent, or 9.5 points, to 3,219.98.

“Philippine shares closed slightly higher as the latest inflationary report was a nonevent and the weakening in the most recent US job openings data opened some concerns on the global economic stability,” Luis Gerardo Limlingan, head of sales at stock brokerage house Regina Capital Development, said in a note to investors on Wednesday.

“As of September, the local [consumer price index] notched higher to 6.9 percent, with food driving up the inflationary basket in the Philippines,” Limlingan said.

Faster inflation up ahead?

September inflation data fell within the 6.6-percent to 7.4-percent forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

More local rate hikes loom as economists believe inflation has yet to peak.

“Inflation could still peak around October at around 7 percent and could mathematically ease thereafter,” Michael Ricafort, chief economist at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said in a note to investors.

A total of 644.59 million shares valued at P4.82 billion changed hands as foreigners recorded net purchases of P188.31 million.

Services, financials, mining and oil and industrial sectors rose on Wednesday while property and holding firms pulled back.

International Container Terminal Services Inc. was the top traded stock as it gained 3.7 percent to P171.10 per share.

It was followed by San Miguel Corp., up 2.43 percent to P99; Jollibee Foods Corp., down 0.83 percent to P238; Ayala Land Inc., down 1.04 percent to P23.80; and Converge ICT Solutions Inc., down 7.98 percent to P12 per share.

Overall, there were 105 advancers against 82 decliners while 46 companies closed unchanged, PSE data showed.

—Miguel R. Camus