Politics

PSE index slips ahead of Fed, BSP policy meetings

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THE benchmark index slipped to the 6,500 level on Thursday on profit taking and cautious trading ahead of central bank meetings next week and the rebalancing of Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) on Friday.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched down by 7.19 points or 0.1% to close at 6,575.67 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index slipped by 0.31 point to 3,496.90.

“The market failed to manage to stay in the green and above the 6,600 support level as investors took some gains amid a lack of positive catalysts while waiting for the decision of the US Federal Reserve and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on interest rates,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“The index spent most of the day in positive territory as spurred by optimism on robust remittance data. However, investors’ cautiousness prevailed at the close, with a surge of market-on-close selling wiping out the day’s gain,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Director Rastine Mackie D. Mercado said in an e-mail.

“This move could be attributed to investors’ risk-off stance ahead of key policy meetings by the Fed and the BSP next week, especially following the sell-off induced by US inflation data reported last Tuesday,” Mr. Mercado added.

The Fed will meet to review policy on Sept. 20-21, where markets expect another aggressive hike amid still elevated inflation. It has raised rates by 225 basis points (bps) so far since March, including back-to-back 75-bp hikes in June and July.

Meanwhile, the BSP is holding its own meeting on Sept. 22. It has hiked borrowing costs by 175 bps since May to rein in rising prices.

“Philippine shares ended the session trading slightly lower as investors rebalanced ahead of a handful of economic reports scheduled to come out Thursday night and the FTSE rebalancing tomorrow,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message. He said these reports include data on US retail sales, import prices, and jobless claims, among others.

Majority of sectoral indices closed lower on Thursday except for property, which climbed by 20.56 points or 0.7% to 2,959.36, and mining and oil, which went up by 14 points or 0.12% to 11,469.45.

Meanwhile, financials went down by 9.31 points or 0.58% to 1,594.17; industrials lost 42.73 points or 0.44% to end at 9,617.39; holding firms decreased by 4.92 points or 0.07% to 6,342.88; and services inched down by 0.56 point or 0.03% to 1,686.91.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 90 against 74, while 51 names closed unchanged.

Value turnover climbed to P5.48 billion on Thursday with 662.91 million shares changing hands from the P5.29 billion with 821.23 million issues seen the previous trading day.

Net foreign buying was at P23.52 million on Thursday, a turnaround from the P23.71 million in net selling recorded on Wednesday.

China Bank Securities’ Mr. Mercado placed the PSEi’s support at the 6,500 to 6,550 range and resistance at 6,720. — Justine Irish D. Tabile