October 21, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Stocks decline on profit taking ahead of break

LOCAL EQUITIES declined on Tuesday as traders switched to profit taking ahead of the Holy Week break.


The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 0.21% or 16.51 points to close at 7,601.40.

The broader all-shares index also declined by 0.19% or 8.69 points to settle at 4,532.92.

“We’re near the resistance level, and then there’s this Holy Week so the market will take some profit taking... The natural technical reaction on the long weekend is that some people would trade safe because there’s nothing now for them to be very bullish [about],” Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu said in a phone interview.

Local financial markets will be closed on April 13 and 14 in observance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

“PSEi slid a few points due to a couple of factors, but mostly this is just traders trying to take some money off the table heading to the long weekend. We’re still above the 7,600 line and we could sense the bullish tone,” AP Securities, Inc. equity trader Frank Gerard J. Barboza said in a text message.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan pointed to local trade data released yesterday as one of the factors that affected the market.

“Locally, investors have taken into account the latest trade imbalance data as the difference between imports and exports has created a gap worth -$1.728 billion,” Mr. Limlingan said.


The country’s trade deficit for February was the lowest recorded since February 2016’s $1.104 billion. This brings the trade deficit for the first two months of the year to $4.198 billion.

Three counters ended in negative territory. The property sector fell 1.19% or 39.85 points to 3,307.79, followed by financials which declined 0.40% or 7.59 points to 1,891.63, and holding firms which dipped by 0.02% or 1.84 points to 7,655.65.

Mining and oil, industrials, and services stayed in the positive, respectively rising by 0.61% or 74.77 points to 12,214.36, by 0.45% or 51.45 points to 11,271.11, and by 0.36% or 5.87 points to 1,614.28.

Decliners trumped advancers, 118 to 87, while 47 stocks remained unchanged.

Value turnover was logged at P7.13 billion as 1.47 billion issues changed hands, higher than Monday’s P6.07 billion worth.

Net foreign buying continued to decline, falling to P80.53 million from Monday’s P466.66 million.

Summit Securities’ Mr. Liu said the market could continue its positive trend for the rest of the year.

“Expect investors to shed off a little exposure in equities to minimize unforeseen external catalysts from the global markets,” AP Securities’ Mr. Barboza added.

Other Southeast Asian stocks also traded sideways on Tuesday, with Singapore and Malaysia edging down, as geopolitical worries arising from the Middle East and the Korean peninsula kept investors on the edge. -- A.B. Francia with Reuters