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Local shares slip as BSP keeps key rates

Philippine Stock Exchange index

Philippine shares dropped for the third straight day on Friday as investors digested the decision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to keep rates unchanged to accommodate economic growth.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 18.77 points or 0.25% on Friday to close at 7,280.57, while the broader all shares index shed 55.59 points or 1.41% to end at 3,878.11.

Darren Blaine T. Pangan, a trader at Timson Securities, Inc., said in a Viber message that stocks finished lower as “investors may be digesting the recently announced interest rate decision by the local central bank.”

After the market’s close on Thursday, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a virtual briefing that the Monetary Board decided to keep benchmark interest rates unchanged at 2% in line with market expectations.

The central bank also revised its average inflation forecast for the year to 4.3% from 4.4%, and set the expected inflation rates for 2022 and 2023 at 3.3% and 3.2%, respectively.

Mr. Pangan said the PSEi’s decline was also “consistent with most markets in Asia” amid investors’ concerns over the unexpected 11.1% drop in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s earnings for the third quarter of 2021.

Globally, stock markets also declined as inflation remains investors’ main concern, said Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan in a Viber message.

He cited New York Federal Reserve Bank President John C. Williams comments that “inflation is becoming more broad-based and that expectations for future price increases are rising.”

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said that “some election-related leads could have also triggered the recent healthy profit-taking in the local stock market.”

He said these leads were the “latest survey results, [and] recent tirades, directly or indirectly.”

Investors have yet to see the details of presidential candidates’ proposed policies, reforms, and platforms, Mr. Ricafort said, thus “a source of uncertainty for the 2022 presidential elections.”

On the last trading day of the week, sectoral indices mostly closed in the red except for property, which went up by 11.76 points or 0.35% to finish at 3,334.36; and services, which gained 1.53 points or 0.07% to 1,980.45.

Meanwhile, mining and oil dropped 272.04 points or 2.84% to 9,308.22; holding firms went down by 46.47 points or 0.65% to 7,011.98; financials lost 10.42 points or 0.65% to finish at 1,578.25; and industrials declined by 3.57 points or 0.03% to 10,707.

Value turnover increased to P22.07 billion with 2.11 billion issues traded on Friday, from P7.82 billion with 882.46 million shares in the previous day.

Decliners beat advancers, 127 against 66, while 49 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling rose to P1.82 billion on Friday from the P589.91 million recorded on Thursday.

Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said the next support level may be pegged at 7,060, “while immediate resistance may be placed at 7,454.50.” — Bianca Angelica D. Anago

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