November 23, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Stocks fall for fourth consecutive day despite slim US, Asian gains

LOCAL equities fell for a fourth consecutive day on Friday ahead of a long weekend.

The benchmark PSEi lost 44.17 points or 0.56% to finish at 7,814.17. The broader all-shares index also slipped by 20.23 points or 0.43% to close at 4,679.29. Except for mining, all other sub-indices declined.

Value turnover eased to P6.9 billion from the P8.7 billion posted on Thursday. But gainers outnumbered losers at 100 to 98, while 48 stocks were unchanged.

Foreigners on Friday sold more shares than they bought, resulting in P374.82 million worth of net selling.

Philippine financial markets are closed until Monday, a public holiday in observance of the close of the month-long Ramadan.

“Philippine markets closed the week testing the 50-day moving average of around 7,800.00, regardless (of) U. S. stocks (eking) out small gains led by a strong rally in the health care sector,” said Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corporation.

Mr Limlingan said that the strong rally of U.S. health sector stocks stemmed from the Republican nod to a new healthcare bill in the Senate as well as from stabilizing oil prices. The S&P 500 and the Dow however posted marginal losses overnight.

Asian shares flat lined but closed on gains for the week. MSCI’s broad Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan climbed 0.5%, while the Nikkei gained 0.11%.

Foreign flows into emerging markets like the Philippines are expected to shrink after the re-balancing that will occur due to the inclusion of mainland Chinese shares in the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) global equity index.

A slightly bullish mood can be expected next week, in anticipation of the 2nd quarter window dressing, said Frank Gerard J. Barbaroza, equity trader at Angping & Associates Securities, Inc. -- Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo