The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) elicited excitement from the market last Friday when it soared to a session high of 7,893.43, or 225.01 points short of the 52-week high of 8,118.44 in June 2016.
But with gains building up too fast and too soon, market bears (sellers) triggered a selloff in the last minutes of the trading period in an apparent move to play safe and earn profits before the weekend. This forced the PSEi to settle 51.44 points lower to 7,841.99 at closing.
Still, the market ended with a strong weekly net advance of 180.98 points or 2.36 percent, and with the All Shares index also ending with a favorable weekly gain of 94.20 points or 2.06 percent at 4,673.40.
Total business transactions were more than double of current normal at P14.58 billion while total trading volume was extraordinarily low at 2.03 billion shares. Advancers led decliners, 107 to 93, while 40 issues remained unchanged.
Foreign investors bought P9.54 billion of shares and sold P8.07 billion for a net foreign buying of P1.98 billion, consistent with its buying stance the entire week.
Two important factors powered the market’s great performance: the favorable report on the country’s inflation rate for April and investors’ continued optimism on the economy.
The inflation rate in April, unchanged at 3.4 percent from previous month, was received favorably by the market. It was below expectations of 3.5 percent but still within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas forecast of 3.0 to 3.8 percent.
While waiting for the report of the Philippine Statistics Authority on the first quarter gross domestic product, investors poured in more money into the system, confident that the growth data of the economy will be favorable.
The market was likewise propped up by investors’ speculative positioning in anticipation of the reportedly good corporate earnings for the period.
Year-to-date, the market has surged by 1,001.35 points or 14.63 percent from 6,840.64 on December 29, 2016. As a result, total market capitalization has risen to P16.14 billion and market valuation (the price-to-earnings ratio of listed stocks) has gone up to 20.08x of earnings for the 30-component stocks of the PSEi and 18.22x for the All Shares index.
On a sectoral basis, market valuation has gone up modestly to 16.38x in the financial sector and 16.04x in the industrial sector, slightly increasing to 17.12x in the holding firm sector, and rising high to 25.31x in the property counter and 25.50x in the services sector, while staying steady at 23.94x in the mining and oil sector.
Bottom line spin
Considering the market’s pattern in the past four months or so, it seems that the upward trend could hold, albeit this week could introduce a sideways bias.
But with the unusual things happening in politics and in the affairs of people, the market may soon be in for upsetting shocks.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.