MANILA – Strong economic growth data failed to sustain the market’s gains on Friday, as investors looked ahead to a rate increase by the US Federal Reserve before the end of the year.
The Philippine Stock Exchange was flat in early trading on Friday, down 0.02 percent to 7,049.09. The peso weakened to P49.80 in early trading.
Asia Pacific-shares outside Japan dipped 0.3 percent in early trading while the dollar settled at a 13 ½ year high after Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen signaled that a rate increase next month was more likely.
“Sentiment remains very weak, before we see any solid catalysts, I think we should play it safe right now, hold more cash positions and wait for the market to calm down,” she said.
Economic growth picked up to 7.1 percent in the third quarter, the first three months of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, beating analysts’ forecasts and maintaining the country’s status as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
Lu recommended Semirara Mining and Power Corp., Energy Development Corp., and Megaworld Corp. shares.