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PHL shares fall as market awaits BSP meeting

LOCAL EQUITIES declined on Monday as investors wait for fresh leads ahead of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) policy meeting this week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 58 points or 0.89% to end at 6,450.34 on Monday, while the broader all shares index went down by 25.87 points or 0.74% to close at 3,441.24.

“This Monday, the local bourse dropped by 58.00 points (0.89%) to 6,450.34 following a negative spillover from the US markets last Friday. Investors also took some gains after the two consecutive days of market rally while waiting for the meeting of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) this week,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“The market took a breather and fell below the 6,500 support level as investors await fresh leads, including the BSP’s policy rate decision and guidance,” China Bank Capital Corp. Managing Director Juan Paolo E. Colet said.

Mr. Colet said investors stayed on the sidelines while awaiting overseas events, including the congressional testimony of US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week.

The S&P 500 ended lower on Friday, weighed down by Microsoft and other market heavyweights as comments from two Federal Reserve officials curtailed optimism that the central bank is nearing the end of its aggressive interest rate hikes, Reuters reported.

The S&P 500 fell 0.36% to end the session at 4,409.77 points; the Nasdaq declined 0.68% to 13,689.57 points; while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.31% to 34,301.03 points.

Meanwhile, the BSP is expected to keep benchmark interest rates steady for a second straight meeting on Thursday after inflation eased further last month and the Fed likewise paused its tightening cycle last week.

Fifteen economists in a BusinessWorld poll last week all expect the Monetary Board to maintain the overnight repurchase rate at 6.25% during its June 22 meeting.

If realized, this would be the second straight meeting the BSP will leave interest rates untouched. The central bank had raised borrowing costs by 425 basis points from May 2022 to March 2023 to help bring elevated inflation down.

All sectoral indices fell on Monday except for mining and oil, which rose by 93.22 points or 0.94% to end at 9,919.72.

Meanwhile, holding firms declined by 85.04 points or 1.31% to 6,364.39; property dropped by 29.01 points or 1.08% to 2,639.35; industrials lost 93.72 points or 1.01% to end at 9,153.60; financials went down by 7.63 points or 0.41% to 1,835.58; and services decreased by 6.58 points or 0.43% to 1,522.57.

Value turnover dropped to P4.22 billion on Monday with 483.71 million shares changing hands from the P53.51 billion with 993.78 million issues traded on Friday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 112 versus 60, while 50 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling stood at P496.22 million on Monday versus the P6.06 billion in net buying seen on Friday. — A.H. Halili with Reuters

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