PSEi up 0.31% on thin trade
The stock market opened the new year with a modest gain but volume was scant as many investors were still on a holiday.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 23.18 points or 0.31 percent to close at 7,489.20 in thin postholiday trade yesterday.
Trading volume was muted at P3.35 billion as many trading participants were still on holiday this shortened trading week. Elsewhere in the region, stock markets were mostly lower.
Net foreign selling hit P4.6 million for the day.
Light trading accompanied by muted movements by the PSEi is to be expected because of the shortened trading period and in anticipation of December’s inflation figure to be released on Friday, said Papa Securities analyst Gio Perez.
“Consensus pegs the figure at 5.6 percent, in the middle of the (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) BSP’s recently released 5.2-6 percent range—a figure below consensus should give the PSEi its much needed boost,” Perez said.
“Trading range still remains at 7,350-7,700, with the latter being a possible breakout point if inflation does log in lower than expected figures,” he added.
Downside risks remain amid the volatility in the US markets and the presence of net foreign selling, Perez noted.
The PSEi was lifted by the property counters, which racked up 2.37 percent, while the mining/oil counter also added 1.78 percent. The services counter was a tad higher.
On the other hand, the financial, industrial and holding firm counters all ended lower.
There were 96 advancers that edged out 85 decliners while 44 stocks were unchanged.
Property giant SM Prime Holdings led the PSEi higher with its 3.35-percent gain, followed by Ayala Land, Metrobank and Meralco which all added over 1 percent.
Conglomerates Ayala Corp., San Miguel Corp. and Jollibee also gained.
Investors also scouted for buying opportunities outside the main index. They picked up second-liners such as retailer Wilcon Depot, which rose by 3.65 percent; Concepcion Industrial and Cemex, which both rose by over 2 percent.
BDO fell by 2.91 percent while SM Investments, LTF, ICTSI, Metro Pacific and Security Bank also lost ground.
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