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Shares lose momentum ahead of BSP decision

By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

LOCAL SHARES moved in red territory on Thursday to pull back from the market’s rally in the past two days.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 54.16 points or 0.76% to close at 6,997.62 on Thursday while the broader all shares index shed 17.33 points or 0.41% to end at 4,127.54.

“Philippine shares took a breather as the recent rally took an inevitable pause… Investors are also awaiting the outcome of the latest BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) meeting this afternoon before making any move,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message on Thursday.

In a BusinessWorld poll of 16 analysts last week, 11 said they expect the monetary board to continue its “prudent pause” on cutting benchmark policy rates, citing excess liquidity and a likely increase in government spending.

Banks were outliers in Thursday’s trading as most PSEi members ended lower, AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail. Sixteen out of 30 blue chip stocks posted losses, while 11 gained and three closed flat.

“The sideways movement tells us that most are willing to hold on to positions in the hopes that prices may go higher in the near-term driven by a strong fourth quarter…. The general sentiment remains optimistic, which is evident in the movement of second-liners and speculative issues,” he added.

US stocks were down overnight: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices fell 1.16%, 1.16% and 0.82%, respectively. Asian stocks were mixed when the local bourse closed on Tuesday.

“Market was down in line with regional markets on profit taking as US will implement stricter restrictions as (coronavirus) infection rates worsen,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message.

Several US cities have rolled out stricter measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus following a surge in cases to 11.53 million as of Thursday, based on data by Johns Hopkins University.

Back home, most sectoral indices at the PSE ended Thursday’s session lower: holding firms by 121.91 points or 1.66% to 7,198.75; mining and oil by 121.87 points or 1.5% to 7,959.88; property by 25.49 points or 0.71% to 3,520.08; industrials by 52.92 points or 0.57% to 9,114.80; and services by 1.54 points or 0.09% to 1,550.21. Financials was the only index that gained, rising 21.56 points or 1.57% to 1,391.00 at the end of session.

Some 11.78 billion issues valued at P11.12 billion switched hands on Thursday, lower than the previous day’s 12.34 billion issues valued at P10.93 billion.

Advancers beat decliners, 114 against 99. Some 60 names ended unchanged. Net foreign selling ballooned to P1.09 billion on Thursday from the P375.18 million recorded in the previous session.

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