Stocks end higher
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) ended with a “surprise” gain Monday, allowing it to close in the green for a fourth straight session. The PSEi closed 61.34 points higher, or 0.95 percent, at 6,526.62.
Analysts were expecting a drop Monday after the main price index gained 4.6 percent the previous week. Elsewhere in the region, stocks ended mixed after China reported that manufacturing output came in slower than expected. Most regional stock markets fell as investors locked in profits made from last week’s rally following concerns of a stimulus cut in the United States and signs of an economic slowdown in China.
“The increase [Monday] was unexpected with data from China dragging on sentiments. Also, last week we saw gains but that was more of window-dressing for the end of the month,” Maria Arlysa Narciso, equities analyst at stock brokerage firm AB Capital Securities Inc., said in a phone interview.
Other analysts said the Philippine equities market bucked the regional trend as bargain-hunters bought stocks heavily battered by foreign selling two weeks ago.
All sub-indices closed in the green Monday, led by holding firms and followed by property developers. Trading volume hit 1.07 billion shares valued at P6.61 billion.
Narciso said investors might be testing the market, given that the PSEi managed to keep gains above 6,000 despite earlier fears that it would drop to 5,500.
She added that the volume Monday suggested that confidence was returning to the market after a steep fall last month that saw the benchmark measure wipe out almost all of its gains for the year. At its lowest level, the PSEi closed at 5,789.06 on June 25, about 0.4 percent below its closing level in 2012.
Still, the analyst noted that recent gains might not be sustainable.
“I’m not sure if we can hold on to this level for now. The performance of the market last week was not sustainable and there could be a correction sometime this week, but hopefully not a sharp decline,” she said.
Data from the PSE showed that SM Investment Corp. was the most actively traded Monday, with a gain of 2.8 percent at P1,100 a share. This was followed by Ayala Corp. (+5.52 percent), SM Prime Holdings (+2.09 percent), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (-0.34 percent) and Megaworld Corp. (+0.91 percent). Miguel R. Camus