Stocks move aimlessly as traders await rate-setting decision

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It was a lackluster session for Philippine stocks ahead of today’s Monetary Board meeting of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Index on Wednesday ended lower by 0.24 percent, or 17.60 points, to 7,349.82 while the broader all-shares index lost a marginal 0.09 percent, or 3.67 points, to 3,958.

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“Philippine shares drifted quietly in the red ahead of the BSP meeting tomorrow,” Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development, said in a note to investors.

He added US economic and inflation indicators also weighed on the local market.

“Retail sales data signaled solid consumer health and eased worries about the Federal Reserve having to become more aggressive in the face of rising inflation,” Limlingan said.

“The gains came even as consumer prices surged 6.2-percent year-over-year last month, inflation not seen since the 1990s,” he added.

Among subsectors, mining and oil continued to shine, with a gain of 1.82 percent as Semirara Mining and Power Corp. jumped another 7.14 percent.

Financials also increased 1.16 percent while industrial stocks moved higher by 0.18 percent. Services fell 0.92 percent, followed by property, down 0.77 percent and holding firms, down 0.47 percent.

Data from the PSE showed 832.9 million shares valued at P7.46 billion changing hands while foreigners remained on buying mode with net purchases of P183.87 million.

Advancers outnumbered gainers, 101 to 87, while 58 companies closed unchanged.

—Miguel R. Camus

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