Shares flat ahead of Bangko Sentral’s interest rate setting

MANILA  -Investors remained on the sidelines as they awaited cues from the upcoming Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) policy meeting, resulting in a muted opening of the trading week.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index fell by 0.03 percent, or 1.77 points, to close at 6,124.57 while the broader All-Shares Index slipped by 0.33 percent, or 10.94 points, to settle at 3,309.24.

“Philippines shares traded quietly to start the week, as investors await the main event this week, which is the MB’s policy-setting meeting on Sept. 21,” Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan said. He is referring to the meeting of the Monetary Board, the BSP’s highest policy-making body.

READ: Asian shares drop as investors brace for central bank-packed week

ING Bank, in a commentary, noted that BSP would likely keep the benchmark interest rate at 6.25 percent as “inflation pressures flare up.” Headline inflation was 5.3 percent in August, up from 4.7 percent the previous month.

“Moreover, net foreign selling worth P419.26 million weighed further on the market,” said Claire Alviar, assistant manager for research and online engagement at Philstocks Financial Inc.

Subsectors were mixed with industrial, holding firms and property indices ending in green territory.

About 549.7 million shares valued at P3.65 billion were traded. Losers led winners, 121-58, while 52 issues were unchanged. The most actively traded company was PLDT Inc., with shares falling by 2.92 percent to P1,096 each.

This was followed by Aboitiz Power, up 0.32 percent to P31.70; BDO Unibank Inc., up 0.39 percent to P129.50; SM Prime Holdings, down 0.51 percent to P29.25; Ayala Land Inc., up 2.39 percent to P27.80; and SM Investments Corp., up 0.87 percent to P810.

Other active names were Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., down 2.07 percent to P52; Bank of the Philippine Islands, down 1.82 percent to P108; Semirara Mining and Power Corp., up 1.45 percent to P35; and GT Capital Holdings, down 1.10 percent to P6.50.

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