Stocks fall further ahead of Fed meeting

The local stock market plunged as investors continue to lighten their portfolios before the Fed starts its meeting this week.

The main index fell 177.72 points or 2.55 percent to close at 6,793.25 as the Mining and Oil sector led all indices in the retreat. Volume rose to 1.54 billion shares worth P11.27 billion as losers swept gainers 147 to 50 with only 27 unchanged.

“Philippine shares continued to decline ahead of the start of the Fed's latest policy meeting,” said Regina Capital Development Corporation Managing Director Luis Limlingan.

He added that, “Investors expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, followed the day after by half-point increases by the Bank of England and European Central Bank. Any deviation from that script would be a shock.

Philstocks Financial Research Manager Japhet Tantiangco said “The local market extended its decline as concerns over inflation, interest rates, and external headwinds continue to weigh on sentiment.”

He noted that, “At the same time, investors are taking a cautious stance ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision this week. The exit of foreign funds added to the decline with net outflows at P812.43 million.”