For the last day of the month, the major Philippines Stockmarket benchmark, the Phisix rambled about the entire session to close with a marginal loss down a paltry .58 points or .04% on very light volume of P 381.930 million (US $6.808 million).
In contrast to yesterday’s activities, local investors who took up about the same ratio (two thirds of the day’s trading activities) as yesterdays, were in a slightly bearish state as measured by the dominance of declining issues against advancing issues (39-33). Nonetheless, based on the industry indices and the distribution of gains/loss among the major cap issues or the blue chips, both were evenly mixed with 3 industry indices up (Commercial-Industrial, Mining and Banking and Finance) vis-à-vis 3 indices down (ALL, Property and Oil) while 2 heavy caps gainers (Bank of the Philippine Islands +1.21% and San Miguel A +.86%) against 2 losers (Ayala Land –1.85% and SM Primeholdings –1.72%) while the rest were unchanged.
Foreigners upped the tempo of their acquisitions to post a positive capital inflow in the amount of P 54.208 million or about 14.20% of the day’s aggregate Peso turnover. However, the buying was limited to select issues mainly the telecom heavyweights PLDT and Globe (both unchanged) and to Bank of the Philippine Islands and DM Consunji (unchanged). Meralco B (-1.16%) absorbed the most liquidations from foreigners (6th straight session) followed by Ayala Land, San Miguel B and Metrobank. As measured by the bluechips 4 issues saw inflows against an equal 4 issues that had outflows.
Apparently the month of August lived up to its reputation; a seasonal month of ennui. The Phisix is down by a slim .31% compared to the previous month and posted one of the least declines since 1997.
In the past twenty years the August scorecard including this year has been 8 years up against 12 years down. In essence, for every 3 years the Phisix was up a countervailing four years of losses was recorded, although not sequentially. During the bear market that began in 1997, the month of August scored only a single month-on-month gain in 2000 while recording 7 years of losses which includes the two largest successive August losses in 1997 down by 22.74% and in August 1998 down 25.84%. In other words, August bore the brunt of the selloffs during the bear market and has thus far been adrift in the bottom-advance cycle of the market.
The ennui that August produced was most probably due its seasonal performance relative to its historical movement. And since the market is still on an upslope and remains on its major trendline path, it could safe to construe that the current market movements has been influenced by the seasonal monthly performance, and still is in search for a stimulus to goad the Phisix higher over the yearend.