Weak jobs report prompts slide in PH shares

The stock market continued its downtrend on Thursday after fresh government data showed higher unemployment numbers in August, reviving broader worries of an economic slowdown.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index sank 0.91 percent, or 54.32 points, to 5,934.27 while the broader All Shares index shed 0.63 percent, or 20.19 points, to 3,199.79.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey showed 2.68 million unemployed individuals, or an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, last August.

This was higher than the 5.2 percent rate of unemployment recorded last July.

The figures indicated a challenging labor market, alongside a period of surging consumer prices, despite efforts to open up the economy and recover from the two-year pandemic slump.

Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) data on showed 387.3 million shares valued at P4.2 billion changing hands.

PSE subsectors were mostly lower, led by the 2.11-percent decline of the industrial subindex.

Holding firms shed 1.61 percent, followed by financials, down 0.36 percent; property, down 0.29 percent; and mining and oil, down 0.09 percent. Services gained 0.73 percent.

International Container Terminal Services Inc. was the most actively traded as it added 2.86 percent to P176 per share.

There were 103 advancers versus 84 losers while 41 firms closed unchanged. —Miguel R. Camus