Main stock index up slightly in thin trade
The local stock barometer ended slightly higher in thin trade on Wednesday, the last trading day before the long Lenten break.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 8.69 points or 0.11 percent to close at 7,835.15.
“Market just traded flat (Wednesday) since most investors are already on a Lenten break. We saw some accumulation and positioning despite the quiet mood (yesterday). Foreign buying was evident during the past few days,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at local fund management firm First Grade Finance.
For the shortened trading week, the PSEi shed 45.67 points or 0.58 percent.
“Expect a more active trading next week. The recent news about the (2019 national) budget signing by the President will still have a favorable impact on the market. PSEi could be tempted to test the 8,000 level again,” Del Castillo said.
Local stockbrokerage Papa Securities pointed to lack of catalysts along with the upcoming long weekend break.
The PSEi was shored up by the financial and services counters, which both gained more than 1 percent. The industrial counter ended a tad higher.
On the other hand, the holding firm, mining/oil and property counters all slipped.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P5.45 billion. Many investors are on a holiday mode ahead of the long break.
There were 110 advancers that edged out 73 decliners while 45 stocks were unchanged.
The PSEi was led higher by Robinson’s Land Corp., which surged by 5.19 percent.
Bloomberry advanced by 3.45 percent while Alliance Global Group, PLDT and BPI all gained more than 2 percent.
ICTSI, BDO Unibank and Metrobank all added more than 1 percent.
Metro Pacific, GT Capital and Puregold also firmed up.
One notable gainer outside the PSEi was Megawide, which rose by 1.19 percent in relatively heavy trade.
On the other hand, Megaworld and SM Investments fell by over 1 percent.
Ayala land, Jollibee, Ayala Corp., SM Prime and URC all slipped.
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