LOCAL STOCKS on Wednesday closed lower week on week amid muted trading before the Holy Week break.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Wednesday closed at 6,488.51, down 0.17% or 11.17 points week on week.
The broader all shares index on Wednesday slipped 0.19% or 6.63 points week on week to close at 3,486.74.
“Trading activity for (last) week was lackluster as volumes dried up ahead of the long weekend,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Director Rastine Mackie D. Mercado said in a Viber message.
The trading week ended on April 5, as April 6 and 7 were both regular holidays in observance of Holy Week.
“We do note that there was an uptick in buying appetite following the better-than-expected inflation print for March, but the optimism was short-lived as selling pressure remained strong. We also note that the index ended the week in the red despite the steep sell-off (in the previous) Friday,” Mr. Mercado said.
Headline inflation eased for a second straight month to 7.6% in March, from 8.6% in February. This was the slowest inflation in six months.
However, core inflation accelerated to 8% in March, from the 7.8% in February, the fastest since December 2000.
Nearly all sectoral indices closed lower week on week. Mining and oil declined by 348.88 points or 3.17% to close at 10,674.15, while services fell 50.89 points or 3.06% to 1,612.66. Financials dropped by 29.56 points or 1.63% to 1,781.03, while industrials slid 110.34 points or 1.17% to close at 9,290.89.
On the other hand, the property index rose 65.61 points or 2.45% week on week to 2,743.97, while holding firms inched up 92.62 points or 1.48% to close at 6,350.39.
Value turnover was at PHP 11.46 billion with 5.24 billion shares changing hands on Wednesday. This is significantly lower than the previous week’s value turnover of PHP 32.18 billion with 4.80 billion issues traded.
“We think recent activity points to continuing market disinterest as likely driven by: (1) the absence of a near-term catalyst, and (2) prevailing risk-off stance as investors guard against possible whipsaws after the long weekend,” China Bank Securities’ Mr. Mercado added.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message that the markets have priced in the lower odds of another 25-basis-point hike by the US Federal Reserve next month.
“Any Fed rate decision, a possible +0.25 Fed rate hike or pause on May 3, 2023, would likely be matched locally on May 18, 2023 to maintain comfortable interest rate differentials that help stabilize the peso, import costs/prices, and overall inflation,” he said.
Trading at the stock market resumes on April 11. — By A.H.Halili