Philippine stocks extended losses on Tuesday after the latest inflation print came in hotter than expected, raising the likelihood of a more aggressive interest rate hike when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilpinas holds its Feb. 16 monetary policy meeting.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index fell 0.8 percent, or 55.35 points, to 6,881.26 while the boarder All Shares Index slipped 0.52 percent, or 18.93 points, to 3,655.75.
On Tuesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority said the January inflation hit a new 14-year high of 8.7 percent—breaching the government's estimated range of 7.5 to 8.3 percent.
"Given the eye-watering rise in prices, risks are on the upside when it comes to our baseline forecast of a 25- [basis point] hike by the BSP next week," according to a report by HSBC Global Research Southeast Asian economist Aris Dacanay.
Stock exchange data showed that 1.03 billion shares valued at P6.14 billion had exchanged hands while foreigners were net buyers amounting to P592.31 million.
Taking the lead among decliners was services, which dropped 1.53 percent, followed by property (-0.95 percent), financials (-0.94 percent) and industrial (-0.84 percent). Unscathed
Mining as well as oil and holding firms rose 0.52 percent and 0.10 percent, respectively. SM Investments Corp. was the top traded stock as it rose 0.55 percent to P915 per share.
It was followed by Ayala Land Inc., down 0.85 percent to P29.05; International Container Terminal Services Inc., down 1.62 percent to P206.60; Universal Robina Corp., flat at P148; and SM Prime Holdings Inc., down 1.32 percent to P37.50 per share.
BDO Unibank Inc. was down 0.8 percent to P124; Bank of the Philippine Islands, down 1.02 percent to P106.90; Semirara Mining and Power Corp., flat at P30.25; Ayala Corp., down 0.7 percent to P710; and Union Bank of the Philippines, down 2.44 percent to P90.10 per share.
Overall, there were 97 losers against 88 advancers while 51 companies closed unchanged, stock exchange data showed.
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