PSEi slips as Fed hints on improving US economy

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slipped back to negative territory on Thursday, as investors absorbed data from the US Federal Reserve’s Beige Book.

PSEi slips as Fed hints on improving US economy

The main index went down 0.27% or 22.84 points to close at 8,381.85 today, March 8, failing to sustain gains seen in the previous session.

The broader all-shares index, meanwhile, rose 0.19% or 9.61 points to 5,065.48.

“The index ended relatively flat today, falling only a measly 22.84 points to close at 8,381.85. We earlier noted the PSEi has broken below its long-term uptrend. We now expect it to trade within the 8,300-8,700 range,” Papa Securities Corp. Head of Research Ramon Vicente T. Kabigting said in an e-mail on Thursday.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan noted that the PSEi saw the same rocky trading seen in US markets, with investors focusing their attention on regional development as indicated in the Fed’s Beige Book.

“The Fed’s Beige Book reported modest-to-moderate growth in economic activity across the 12 districts. Consumer spending was mixed, with non-auto sales improving in just over half of the regions, while auto sales were unchanged or weaker,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

The Beige book contains reports on current economic conditions based on anecdotes from banks, branch directors, interviews with key business contacts, and market experts, among others.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.33% or 82.76 points to 24,801.36 on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 was flat at 2,726.80, lower by 0.05% or 1.32 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index managed to post gains of 0.33% or 24.64 points to close at 7,396.65.

Four sectors were down today, led by financials which dipped 0.89% or 19.84 points to close at 2,186.40. Industrials followed with a decrease of 0.74% or 85.92 points to 11,442.52; property gave up 0.20% or 7.71 points to 3,747.23; while holding firms lost 0.11% or 9.57 points to 8,394.30.

Services on the other hand jumped by 1.03% or 18.08 points to 1,762.28, while mining and oil added 0.10% or 11.66 points to 11,538.19.

The market recorded a value turnover of P5.83 billion after some 1.99 billion issues switched hands. This is thinner than the P8.63-billion turnover on Wednesday.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 118 to 85, as 61 names remained unchanged.   Foreign investors extended their selling spree for the 13th straight day, dumping stocks worth P715.67 million, against net sales of P295.89 million in the previous session.

PLDT, Inc. was among the top gainers today, climbing 2.3% to P1,560 apiece after disclosing that core recurring earnings jumped 33% in 2017.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arra B. Francia