The Philippine stock market fell by 0.16 percent on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserves meeting.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 10.18 points to settle at 6,333.96. The broader all-share index fell by 0.12 percent or 4.48 points to 3,833.33.
Trading volume reached 1.01 billion shares worth 8.38 billion pesos (192.46 million U.S. dollars) with 70 stocks advancing, 68 declining, and 42 unchanged.
Three of the six counters extended their rallies. These subindices were the financials, industrial, and the mining and oil sector.
At present, analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said all eyes are glued to the next move of the US Federal Reserves which is scheduled to meet at 1800 GMT.
The local equities moved along with the rest of the global equities, many of whom are speculating that the Federal Open Market Committee will at best be cautious in reducing its 85 billion US Dollars in monthly asset buying.
"Any cut that fall within the 10 to 15 billion U.S. might not create much stir," Calaycay said, echoing global sentiments. Once the suspense is over, investors can start making their next big move.
But for now, buying has been very selective and only certain stocks in the 30-company index were picked up. These include heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Ayala Corp., and Megaworld Corp.
In other corporate news, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) has completed its divestment from its affiliates in the property sector to reduce its exposure to the real estate industry and focus on its core business.
RCBC sold its 17.66-percent stake in RCBC Realty Corp. to House of Investments Inc. and Pan Malayan Management and Investment Corp. RCBC also sold its 49-percent stake in RCBC Land Inc. (RLI) to Pan Malayan.
The sale of its investments in non-core businesses would help RCBC comply with stricter capitalization rules under Basel III regulations that local banks are required to adhere to by next year.