Stocks finished slightly lower yesterday as investors stayed on the sidelines due to a lack of new catalysts.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index slipped 3.54 points or 0.06 percent to settle at 6,230.20.

The broader All Shares index likewise ended in the red, declining by 4.02 points or 0.12 percent to 3,359.43.

'Philippine shares traded sideways ahead of the key US inflation data release, which comes out tomorrow night,' said Regina Capital's Luis Limlingan.

'Locally, investors' sentiment improved on the back of a proposed reduction in rice import tariffs and possible pause in local policy rates,' he said.

Philstocks Financial, for its part, said lower foreign direct investment net inflows last June weighed on sentiment, with investors continuing to look for positive catalysts.

Indices remained mixed with mining and oil leading the charge with a 1.19 percent increase.

Services, on the other hand, suffered the biggest decline at one percent.

Market breadth was negative for a second consecutive session, with decliners pummeling advancers, 95 to 79, while 61 stocks were unchanged.

Total value turnover saw a slight uptick from the previous day at P3.97 billion.

Most Asian stocks fell yesterday coupled with thin emerging currency trading as investors exercised caution ahead of key US inflation print, which will show how close the Federal Reserve is to ending its rate hike cycle.

Among currencies, the won gained 0.3 percent against the US dollar, hitting its highest in a week, alongside the Philippine peso, which was the only other currency in the green, rising 0.1 percent.

The inflation report on Wednesday is one of the key data points that market participants will be watching closely to gauge further prospects for the US dollar.

Markets have baked in a pause at the conclusion of the Fed's Sept. 19-20 monetary policy meeting, beyond which the path forward is less certain.

The Chinese yuan took a breather and was trading almost flat during the day but later retreated to fall about 0.1 percent, while the stock market in the world's second-largest economy fell, dragged by property stocks.

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