Market succumbs to U.S. inflation woes

After three straight days of gains, the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index slipped by 54.32 points to 5,934.27, 0.91 percent lower than Wednesday’s close.

Shares were sold down as investors kept tabs on economic data to see if inflation is cooling off or if the US Federal Reserve’s rate hikes are pushing the US closer to a recession, Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan said.

“The negative cues from Wall Street and the higher unemployment rate in August weighed on sentiment,” Philstocks Financial Inc. assistant manager for research and online engagement Claire Alviar said.

On Wednesday, payroll services firm ADP reported the labor market remained strong among private firms in September, with 208,000 jobs created during the month.

4-year high

The latest inflation data accelerated to 6.9 percent in September, the highest in four years, padding up bets that the BSP will impose more rate hikes.

Oil prices rose as OPEC+ resolved to impose deep output cuts by 2 million barrels per day to shore up prices.

The Brent crude futures jumped by 1.1 percent, settling at $92.82/bbl. On the other hand, the US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by almost 1 percent to $87.37/bbl.

In August, the unemployment rate was at 5.3 percent, slightly higher than the 5.2 percent rate in July. On the upside, the labor force participation rate improved.

“Meanwhile, the decision of OPEC+ to cut oil production brought negative sentiment to the market as this may lead to higher domestic oil prices, which could upwardly pressure the inflation rate,” she said.

Many investors were still on the sidelines as the market participation remained weak, with a net market value turnover registering at P3.67 billion only.

Except for Services, all sectors dropped with Industrials having the biggest decline of 2.11 percent.

Among index members, Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. was at the forefront, advancing 3.33 percent while Monde Nissin Corp. plunged by 6.78 percent.

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