The stock barometer further pulled away from the 7,000 barrier on Friday as investors continued to price in surprise changes to the main index alongside an extended sell-off on shares of index newbie Converge.

Shares of Converge slid by another 10.4 percent as the 365-day lock-up period on shares of global private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, which owns 15.8 percent of the fiber internet company, expired on Friday. This means that Warburg is free to sell all or part of its stake in the future, creating an overhang on its stocks. On Friday, the main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 44.44 points or 0.64 percent to close at 6,906.86.

For the week, the PSEi lost 16.74 points or 0.24 percent from last week’s 6,923.60.

The PSEi was weighed down on Friday by the holding firm and services counters, which both declined by over 1 percent, while the industrial and property counters both slipped by less than 1 percent.

On the other hand, the financial and mining/oil counters both added over 1 percent.

Value turnover for the day was heavy at P25 billion, buoyed by block transactions on First Gen (about P8.5 billion) and UnionBank (P2.5 billion).There was P1.47 billion worth of net foreign selling for the day as private equity firm KKR’s purchase of First Gen shares offset some P500 million in net foreign selling out of Converge.

First Gen rebound

Despite the PSEi’s decline on Friday, market breadth was positive. There were 105 advancers that beat 83 decliners, while 46 stocks were unchanged.

Globe Telecom also fell by 4.69 percent, while Jollibee lost 2.38 percent.

ICTSI, SM Prime, BPI, Ayala Corp. and SM Investments all lost over 1 percent.

PLDT, Aboitiz Power and AEV all declined by less than 1 percent.

One notable decliner outside the PSEi was Monde Nissin, which shed 0.32 percent.

On the other hand, First Gen rebounded by 5.07 percent after the previous day’s selldown. The company is set to exit the PSEi on Oct. 11 and will be replaced by Wilcon.

For the second straight session, Wilcon was the day’s most actively traded company, rising by 2.79 percent ahead of its surprise inclusion in the PSEi.BDO gained 4.31 percent, while Metrobank added 2.09 percent.

AC Energy and Ayala Land both added over 1 percent, while URC rose by 0.23 percent.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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