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Stocks inch higher despite faster August inflation

September 5, 2023By BusinessWorld

PHILIPPINE SHARES continued to climb on Tuesday following the approval of a measure proposing the reduction of the stock transaction tax, which helped offset losses due to faster-than-expected August inflation.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 10.32 points or 0.16% to end at 6,225 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index went up by 3.70 points or 0.11% to close at 3,360.14.

“Shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange edged higher as the proposed bill lowering taxes on stock transactions has been approved by the House Ways and Means Committee but sputtered at the end after August inflation quickened after a six-month downtrend,” Globalinks Securities and Stocks, Inc. Head of Sales Trading Toby Allan C. Arce said in a Viber message.

“In the early part of the trading session, the market was in the red as the Philippine August inflation rate rose 5.3%, higher than July’s 4.7%. Bargain hunters saved the market from the red territory,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

The House Committee on Ways and Means on Tuesday approved the substitute bill to House Bill 8958 or the proposed “Capital Markets Efficiency Promotion Act” that provides for the immediate reduction of the stock transaction tax to 0.1% from 0.6%. A debt transaction tax of 0.1% of the gross selling price of the instrument will also be imposed.

Meanwhile, headline inflation picked up to a two-month high of 5.3% in August from 4.7% in July, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on Tuesday showed.

This was the first time in seven months that inflation quickened year on year. Still, this was below the 6.3% print in August 2022, and was within the 4.8-5.6% forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the month.

However, this was above the 4.9% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll of 18 analysts conducted last week.

August also marked the 17th consecutive month that the consumer price index was above the BSP’s 2-4% target for the year.

For the first seven months, inflation averaged 6.6%, above the central bank’s 5.6% forecast for the year.

Most sectoral indices went up on Tuesday. Holding firms increased by 73.90 points or 1.25% to 5,984.45; mining and oil rose by 113.19 points or 1.11% to 10,245.91; industrials climbed by 59.76 points or 0.68% to 8,819.65; and services inched up by 3.92 points or 0.26% to 1,511.22.

Meanwhile, property dropped by 23.85 points or 0.91% to 2,581.01 and financials declined by 14.98 points or 0.81% to 1,818.83.

Value turnover went down to P3.41 billion on Tuesday with 437.48 million shares changing hands from the P11.32 billion with 2.30 million issues seen on Monday.

Decliners narrowly outnumbered advancers, 87 to 85, while 56 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling declined to P669.21 million on Tuesday from P1.20 billion on Monday. — SJT

This article originally appeared on bworldonline.com

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