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Market seen to slow down

MANILA, Philippines - Nearing newly recorded all-time highs, the local stock market may slip into slowdown mode this week as investors await the release of key economic figures.

While the main composite index closed 33.12 points or 0.81 percent higher at 4,111.99 last week, it has been on downward spiral for two days as players decided to take profits rather than risk gains.

Accord Capital Equities Inc.’s Jun Calaycay said the “trend indicates an increasing downward pressure or alternatively, a dissipating upward momentum” although he still maintains his bullish outlook for the rest of the year.

“Given this perspective, we would in fact welcome a further slide in equity prices as an opening for investors to move back on the buy side. Despite sliding down in two of the last three sessions last week, the market continues to hover above overbought territory…” Calaycay said.

Investors are awaiting the release of the critical home sales number from the US and the September inflation data, which is expected to be announced by the government towards the latter part of the week.

“This is not seen to cause any stir in the market, unless the change is too drastic either way, nor is it anticipated to force monetary authorities to tweak policy rates in its meeting Thursday,” Calaycay said.

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Calaycay said the stable interest rate environment augurs well for both equity investors and firms either seeking to lighten their balance sheets of debt through restructuring or to source funds to finance business expansions to meet an expected surge in demand moving forward, particularly as we roll into the spending heavy holiday months.

The industrial sub index took the limelight last week, rising 3.14 percent mainly driven by the strong performance of Holcim Philippines Inc. which rose 16.54 percent followed by Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc. (13.53 percent) and the Manila Electric Co. (6.02 percent).

The uptick was on the back of expectations of rising demand for construction activities due to an expanding economy.

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