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PSEi declines on foreign selling amid inflation worries

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Facade of the new Philippine Stocks Exchange headquarters in Taguig City on Monday, February 19, 2018. (KJ ROSALES)

SHARE prices fell as rising oil prices stoked inflation fears, while foreign selling also weighed on large caps, pulling down the main index.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index dropped 0.28% or 21.84 points to 7,672.28. The broader all-shares index fell 0.30% or 13.80 points to 4,664.94.

“Our market dipped as oil price heads towards $80 per barrel. Since we are a net importer of oil, this may put further pressure on inflation which is of major concern for investors,” Timson Securities Inc. Equity Trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a mobile message on Friday.

“Investors are also liquidating shares in the absence of fresh leads and with Treasury yields in the US steadying at current levels, so they are choosing the safer havens rather than betting on riskier instruments,” he added.

PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel G. Lisbona said the market generally took a breather today amid thin turnover.

“Declines in Index heavyweights SM and AC exerted enough downward influence on the PSEi,” Mr. Lisbona said in a mobile message, attributing this drop to the continuation of foreign selling.

“In terms of valuation, both companies are expensive at P/E ratios of 22x and 29x forecast earnings for AC and SM, respectively,” he added.

“The market was mostly quiet after yesterday’s 133-point fall and will likely tread water in the next few days,” Mr. Lisbona added, noting that investors will be closely watching the US-China trade talks and oil prices.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 115 to 86 while 53 issues were unchanged.

By sector, the picture was mixed on Friday. Mining and oil saw the biggest losses, falling 1.64% or 167.81 points to 10,041.14; holding firms slid 1.25% or 94.58 points to 7,491.24; and industrials shed 0.37%

Meanwhile, property rose 0.54% or 20.49 points to 3,803.28; financials edged up 0.25% or 4.79 points to 1,921.59; and services rose 0.10% or 1.57 points to 1,534.23.

Foreigners were net sellers of P2.436 billion worth of shares, nearly double Thurday’s level of P1.32 billion.

A total of 1.306 billion shares worth P4.216 billion changed hands, against 1.32 billion shares worth P7.16 billion on Thursday. — Janina C. Lim