Lackluster trading seen

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Local stocks are seen trading in thin volume this shortened trading week as global markets await whether the United States can strike before year’s end a budget deal that will address a looming “fiscal cliff.”

But while the external environment was uncertain, a last-minute rally might still be possible on the back of yearend window-dressing, said Eagle Equities Inc. president Joseph Roxas.

Financial markets will reopen on Wednesday as the nation pauses for a Christmas holiday break.

Last week, the PSEi jumped by 116 points or 2.05 percent to end at 5,823 on Friday, perked up by prospects of investment grade rating in 2013. This was after S&P, which now rates the country at only a notch below investment grade, put a positive outlook on its rating. A favorable economic review by the World Bank and Moody’s also boosted sentiment for the week.

Freya May Natividad, an analyst at 2TradeAsia.com, said modest trading could be seen this week. “Sentiment might turn selective during a three-day trading week, as momentum eases for the final stretch of 2012. Several might give more weight on overseas news, specifically how peer markets would respond to political bottlenecks over the fate of the US budget,” she said.

Overall, she said there would be portfolio repositioning in anticipation of 2013-2014 bets, driven mainly by improved liquidity. Immediate support was seen at 5,800 and secondary support at 5,780. On the upside, resistance was seen at 5,850-5,900.

Gregg Adrian Ilag, an analyst at AB Capital Securities, said investors would likely focus on the headlines regarding the fiscal cliff this week. Doris C. Dumlao

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