The stock market fell Tuesday in cautious trading ahead of new quarantine rules that will place certain parts of Metro Manila under isolated lockdowns beginning Sept. 16.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index shed 47.78 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,920.36 on a value turnover of P31.2 billion after a block sale of shares of RL Commercial REIT Inc. Losers beat gainers, 121 to 70, with 54 issues unchanged.
DITO CME Holdings Corp., the third mobile phone company, dropped 4.8 percent to P8.30, while SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group declined 2.1 percent to P988.
Noddles maker Monde Nissin Corp., however, rose 3.9 percent to P18.26, while Globe Telecom Inc., the second-biggest mobile phone firm, climbed 2.7 percent to P3,174.
Meanwhile, investors trod cautiously in early Asian trade Tuesday as they awaited US inflation data that could play a key role in determining when the Federal Reserve will start winding down its market-supporting monetary policy.
Hong Kong and Shanghai led losses on concerns about troubled property titan Evergrande, which is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy owing hundreds of billions of dollars.
The firm on Tuesday warned it was under “tremendous pressure” as it deals with the cash crunch that many fear could send it under and have a severe impact on the Chinese economy.
Evergrande’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell nearly 12 percent, and have lost around 80 percent since the start of the year.
Wellington, Taipei and Bangkok also fell.
However, Tokyo finished at its highest level since 1990 on hopes that a new prime minister will introduce more stimulus for the stuttering Japanese economy.
Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Mumbai and Jakarta also rose.
The first gain for Wall Street’s S&P 500 and Dow after a five-day losing streak was not enough to spur a broad advance in Asia, though Tokyo clocked up its highest finish in 31 years on hopes for fresh stimulus.
Experts are also keeping an eye on China after authorities tightened their grip on the tech sector as part of a wide-ranging regulatory crackdown against private enterprises.
But the main event this week is the release later Tuesday of US consumer price data, which comes days after figures showed the cost firms pay at the factory gate had risen last month at a record pace owing to a jump in demand as well as supply and labor shortages.
That report put pressure on the Fed to begin tapering its ultra-loose monetary policy as soon as November.
Expectations are for the consumer price reading to come in above five percent, with analysts warning that a reading well above that could force the central bank’s hand in order to prevent inflation from spiralling out of control.
OANDA’s Edward Moya said uncertainty over the reading would keep traders on the sidelines for now.
“Investors don’t want to have massive positions before the inflation data as the risks are to the upside as COVID inflation continues to hamper supply chains,” he wrote in a commentary.
“If inflation comes in hotter-than-expected, taper expectations could shift from December to November.” With AFP