THE BENCHMARK INDEX barely moved on Wednesday on last-minute bargain hunting as the war between Russia and the Ukraine continued and following hawkish remarks from the US central bank chief.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 0.49 point to close at 7,009.43 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares rose by 8.96 points or 0.24% to close at 3,724.75.
“The local bourse closed flat this Wednesday as a last-minute bargain hunting wiped the market’s intraday losses. The bourse was in the red territory for the most part of the day as uncertainties over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the aggressively hawkish outlook of the Federal Reserve dampened sentiment,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message.
“Philippine shares closed flat as investors shrugged off hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and continued to monitor the war in Ukraine. The ongoing Ukraine war is still part of the investors’ ‘to monitor’ list,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.
Talks between Ukraine and Russia are confrontational but moving forward, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday, as the West plans to announce more sanctions against the Kremlin amid a worsening humanitarian crisis, Reuters reported.
Intense Russian air strikes are turning besieged Mariupol into the “ashes of a dead land,” the city council said on Tuesday, as street fighting and bombardments raged in the port city.
Hundreds of thousands are believed to be trapped inside buildings, with no access to food, water, power or heat. Both civilians and Ukrainian troops were coming under Russian fire, said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
Russian forces and Russian-backed separatist units had taken about half of the port city, normally home to around 400,000 people, Russia’s RIA news agency said, citing a separatist leader.
Meanwhile, the US central bank must move “expeditiously” to bring too-high inflation to heel, Mr. Powell said on Monday, adding that it could use bigger-than-usual interest rate hikes if needed to do so.
Back home, sectoral indices were split. Industrials went up 167.88 points or 1.81% to 9,445.15; mining and oil climbed 76.65 points or 0.62% to 12,346.97; and property inched up by 3.37 points or 0.10% to 3,363.18.
Meanwhile, holding firms declined by 43.14 points or 0.64% to 6,608.48; financials fell by 3.80 points or 0.22% to 1,654.39; and services dropped 3.31 points or 0.17% to 1,877.16.
Value turnover decreased to P5.89 billion with 1.41 billion shares changing hands on Wednesday from the P6.67 billion or 1.11 billion issues seen on Tuesday.
Advancers outnumbered decliners, 91 versus 85, while 48 names closed unchanged.
Net foreign selling dropped to P734.65 million from P838.47 million seen on the previous trading day. — L.M.J.C. Jocson with Reuters