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Bulls sidelined by price unease

Net foreign selling persisted at P323 million with value turnover at P4.5 billion

Chito Lozada

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Shares ended flat ahead of release of inflation figure today which is estimated to be higher than the 4.5 percent level last March.

Shares closed down for the second straight session even as the market ended flat ahead of the release of inflation figures which a median consensus estimated at 4.7 percent from 4.5 percent recorded last March.

Net foreign selling persisted at P323 million with value turnover at P4.5 billion, according to AB Capital Securities Inc.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index finished at 6,359, down by 10.13 points or 0.16 percent after moving on a range of 6,356.14 to 6,397.19 from 86,736 shares traded worth P4.491 billion.

Punters bide time

Asian equity markets drifted as investors bide their time ahead of the release of key US jobs figures later in the week.

While the Dow and S&P 500 on Wall Street provided a positive lead, there were few catalysts to drive business, with Tokyo and mainland China’s bourses closed for holidays.

Still, a top Federal Reserve official provided some welcome comments as he reiterated the bank’s intention to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future even as he predicted the world’s top economy would grow at its quickest pace since the 1980.

In trying to soothe long-running fears that the expected burst of economic activity this year will fan inflation and force rate hikes, John Williams, president of the US Federal Reserve’s influential New York branch, said “it’s important not to overreact to this volatility in prices.”

He added that a sharp rise in inflation was to be expected owing to the low base of comparison last year as the virus shut down the global economy, but that would soon ease back.

The latest snapshot of the economy comes Friday with the release of April jobs data, with some observers suggesting around one million positions created.

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