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Sideways, lower trading seen in ‘Ghost Month’

August 05, 2019

THE stock market is expected to trade sideways or lower this week, with the “Ghost Month” into its fifth day, and ahead of the government’s release of official economic growth data this week.

In a market comment over the weekend, AAA Southeast Equities Inc. research head Christopher Mangun said investors would remain cautious after the bourse officially entered the so-called ghost season last week, when big-ticket investments are expected to be held off.

“All these factors will keep the market from going higher, and with a lack of buyers, we may potentially see it go lower,” he added.

Running from August 1 to 29 this year, Ghost Month stems from the enduring Chinese belief that the seventh lunar month is when the gates of hell open, releasing hungry spirits to visit the living, who must prepare food offerings for them. Failure to do so may bring bad luck.

During this month, making important business transactions, such as investing in major endeavors, betting huge on capital markets or starting an enterprise, are avoided.

However, Mangun said market players would watch out for the second-quarter gross domestic product data, which he expected to be better than the previous quarter.

Economic growth in April to June is projected to settle between 5.7 and 5.9 percent, compared with the 5.2 percent recorded in January to March.

“We shall see if it this has any effect on trading,” he added.

In a separate comment, online brokerage firm said market players would sift through more corporate-earnings results moving forward to heed for the Philippine Stock Exchange index’s (PSEi) trajectory.

Other catalysts believed to buoy PSEi include the continuation of accommodative monetary policies; the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher-quality Opportunities (Trabaho) bill, which proposes to reduce corporate income taxes from 30 percent to 20 percent in 10 years; and the expected passage of the Real Estate Investment Trust framework.

Last Friday, the bellwether PSEi rose by 0.39 percent or 31.77 points to close at 8,129.93. The wider All Shares grew by 0.45 percent or 22.05 points to finish at 4,926.56.

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