Local bourse to trade sideways this week
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - August 22, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Philippine stock market is expected to move sideways this week, with range-bound trading below the 8,000-mark.

The local equities market declined week-on-week as investors mulled over mixed earnings reports.

Despite the release of the better-than-expected second quarter Philippine economic data on Thursday, the main index still lost 25.11 points or 0.32 percent to close the week at 7,930.75.

In its weekly review, BPI Asset Management sees the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) trading between 7,850-7,980.

BPI Asset said the PSEi traded sideways with a slight downward bias this week as investors took profit on the local bourse on expectations of a September Fed rate hike and as Philippine GDP surprised to have grown 7 percent in the second quarter.

"Philippine GDP was higher than expected, at 7 percent (vs. market expectations of 6.4 percent), giving investors an excuse to take profit as markets doubled the sustainability of the robust headline growth figure."

For the week, foreign investors were the net sellers at P3.32 billion. Year-to-date, net foreign inflows reached P55.78 billion.

Total trade value was at P8.68 billion, while the volume of traded shares reached 935.8 million.

Balance of  payments

Meanwhile, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that the Philippines registered a positive Balance of Payments (BOP) in July at US$215 million.

BOP is the difference in total value between payments into and out of the country.

This was the fifth month the country posted net BOP inflow.

The cumulative BOP for this year was at US$848 million.

The favorable BOP print might be due to the strong foreign portfolio investments at net US$1.07 billion in July, BPI Asset said.

The central bank targets BOP for 2016 to be at US$2 billion.

Meanwhile, this week, the dollar-peso is also expected to trade sideways with a slight upward bias should multiple critical indicators, including the first half US economic data, beat expectations this upcoming data-heavy week, BPI Asset also noted. (FREEMAN)

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