November 21, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PSEi skids to three-week low, bucks Asia’s gains

LOCAL EQUITIES retreated for a third straight day to drag the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) to a three-week low.

Analysts blamed the persistent weakness to external factors although some pointed to a weakening peso and Credit Suisse’s gloomier economic outlook on the Philippines as also damping sentiment.

“Philippine stocks slumped before the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) released its stance on monetary policy while tracking regional peers,” said Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corp.

The BSP held fire on rates at its Thursday meeting.

The PSEi lost 28.03 points or 0.35% to finish at 7,858.34, its worst since May 31.

The broader all-shares index also slipped by 9.27 points or 0.19% to close at 4,699.52. Save for financial stocks, all sector indices declined.

Mr. Limlingan said US stocks slumped for a second day as oil prices continued their downward trek, dragging energy shares.

He said a negative start on Wall Street persisted throughout the day, preventing the PSEi to climb above the 20-day moving average of 7,920. He pegged the main index’s support at the 50-day moving average of 7,800.

Miguel A. Agarao, vice-president of Philequity Management, Inc., pointed to the weak peso and volatile global markets as the factors that weighed down local stocks.

Asian stocks advanced on Thursday, but European stocks were mixed with financial spread better CMC Markets expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 to open up 0.1%, Germany’s DAX to be little changed and France’s CAC 40 to start the day down 0.1%. All three closed in negative territory on Wednesday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.7%. Chinese shares added to gains made on Wednesday after MSCI included mainland shares in its emerging market indexes. The blue-chip index rose 1.3%. The Hang Seng failed to sustain early gains.

“Credit Suisse also downgraded our GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast,” Mr. Aragao added.

Miko S. Sayo, trader at Angping & Associates Securities, Inc., said: “Foreign funds are still not buying.”

Foreigners on Thursday bought more shares than they sold, resulting in a net buying of stocks worth P673.44 million, more than double the other day’s net of P337 million.

Value turnover was P8.68 billion, slightly higher than the P8.14 billion posted on Wednesday. But losers outnumbered gainers at 102 to 98, while 47 stocks closed unchanged. -- V.V. Saulon with Reuters