PHL stocks flat as investors remain on sidelines


LOCAL stocks were flat on Thursday, as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) widely-expected rate hike.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up 0.08% to close at 6,824.63 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index was flat at 3,619.77.

AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said the stock market moved sideways on Thursday, “losing some momentum after gaining for seven straight sessions.

“Market participants were also on the sidelines waiting for the BSP’s decision on the benchmark interest rates,” he said in a Viber message.

The Monetary Board raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points (bps) at its Thursday meeting.

The BSP made the announcement at past 3 p.m., after the market closed.

“Investors remained vigilant ahead of the BSP meeting… Note that the street widely expects a 50-bp rate hike in the Monetary Board’s policy review meeting following an off-cycle 75-bp rate adjustment last July,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Sectoral indices were mixed on Thursday. Industrials went up by 89.22 points or 0.90% to close at 9,991.07; while financials climbed 9.21 points or 0.57% to 1,608.15. Services also rose by 6.19 points or 0.35% to finish at 1,750.56.

Meanwhile, mining and oil declined 155.95 points or 1.29% to close at 11,921.01; while property shed 37.29 points or 1.21% to 3,035.36. Holding firms dropped 7.26% or 0.10% to finish the session at 6,660.93.

“Among PSEi members, Universal Robina Corporation (URC) jumped by 4.17% while Aboitiz Power Corporation (APC) was at the bottom, losing 3.20%,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

On Tuesday, URC through its collaboration with Asahi Beverages Philippines (ABP) announced the rollout of “Goodday,” a cultured milk drink, in the country.

Value turnover surged to P13.76 billion on Thursday with 909.51 million shares changing hands, from P8.04 billion with 1.17 billion issues seen on Wednesday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 104 versus 96, while 40 names were unchanged.

Net foreign buying reached P696.10 million on Thursday, lower from P857.07 million seen on Wednesday.

Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan said that investors are waiting for US economic data such as weekly jobless claims and existing home sales due on Thursday evening.

Philstocks’ Ms. Alviar placed the PSEi’s immediate support at 6,600 level and resistance between the 7,000-7,100 range, while AB Capital Securities’ Mr. Vistan put support at 6620 and resistance at 6900 level. — J.I.D. Tabile