Equities 3 MIN READ

Stocks end week lower as market looks for leads

June 12, 2023By BusinessWorld

Local equities declined on Friday as investors stayed on the sidelines as they awaited fresh leads.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 32.21 points or 0.49% to close at 6,507.15 on Friday, while the broader all shares index went down by 8.53 points or 0.24% to end at 3,476.18.

Week on week, the PSEi went down by 4.86 points or 0.07% from its 6,512.01 close on June 2.

“The local market struggled to track higher for the week given persistent selling pressure, which has also likely tempered buying appetite,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Associate Lance U. Soledad said in a Viber message.

“[The market] continued to shrug off positive local news flows, posting its third straight weekly decline despite the removal of key market overhangs (e.g., MSCI rebalancing, US debt default), continued slowdown in inflation in May, with the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) chief guiding that policy rates may hold steady as a result of the sustained easing, and a still-robust labor market, with an unemployment rate of 4.5% in April,” Mr. Soledad added.

Headline inflation eased to 6.1% in May from 6.6% in April, the slowest in a year or since the 5.4% in May 2022.

For the first five months, the consumer price index averaged 7.5%, still higher than the BSP’s 2-4% target and 5.5% forecast for the year.

The BSP last month kept borrowing costs steady, with the key rate now at 6.25%.

The Monetary Board’s next policy meeting will be on June 22. The BSP is expected to keep rates steady for its next two to three meetings as inflation continues to ease.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in April from 4.7% the previous month, equivalent 2.26 million jobless Filipinos, down from 2.42 million in March.

Year to date, the statistics authority reported the unemployment rate average at 4.7%, down from the 5.4% average in 2022, and 7.8% in 2021.

Meanwhile, the employment rate in April rose to 95.5% from 95.3% in March and 94.3% in the same month a year ago.

This translated to 48.06 million Filipinos who had jobs in April, a decrease of 523,000 from the 48.58 million in March.

Sectoral indices were split on Friday. Financials rose by 18.06 points or 0.98% to 1,846.41; mining and oil climbed by 42.67 points or 0.42% to 10,111.01; and services went up by 3.51 points or 0.22% to 1,541.76.

Meanwhile, property sank by 58.10 points or 2.16% to 2,626.98; holding firms dropped by 45.02 points or 0.69% to 6,475.24; and industrials went down by 20.01 points or 0.21% or 9,266.83.

Value turnover rose to PHP 5.66 billion on Friday with 1.22 billion shares changing hands from the PHP 3.86 billion with 626.14 million issues traded on Thursday.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 92 to 80, while 52 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling dropped to PHP 202.11 million on Friday from PHP 416.92 million on Thursday.

The market is closed on June 12 for Independence Day. — A.H. Halili

This article originally appeared on bworldonline.com

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