The Philippine stock market closed marginally lower Wednesday as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on Thursday.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 0.09 percent or 5.57 points to 6,513.20. The broader all-share index declined by 0.23 percent or 9.30 points to 4,022.12.
Trading volume reached 1.96 billion shares worth 7.70 billion pesos (178.36 million U.S. dollars), with 72 stocks advancing, 80 declining, and 35 unchanged.
Of the six counters, only two managed to close higher. These were the financials and the holding firm sectors.
"The surge of buyers that marked the last three sessions tapered off a day ahead of the crucial Federal Reserve meeting -- the fulcrum of global equity markets' fate," analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said in his daily stock market comment.
Calaycay said once the issue has been settled, investors can start to consider other key factors including fundamental valuations and portfolio management strategies.
"After nearly a month of speculating that has sent shock waves across global equity markets, some clarity is expected to rise from the woodwork. The best case for the Fed is to leave the stimulus at current pace while indicating to the market that the options remain open in light of the marked improvements in the broad economy," he said.
Stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed. Ayala Corp. and SM Investments Corp. closed higher, while index heavyweight PHilippine Long Distance Telephone Co. extended its decline.