PH stocks sluggish after Lenten break; trading cautious
The stock market traded flat on Monday, the first trading day of the week after the long Lenten break, as domestic investors traded with caution amid global oil price jitters.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was down 2.72 points or 0.03 percent to close at 7,832.43, while regional markets traded with mixed results.
“As the weeks go by, the market looks weaker and weaker. The continuous inflow of foreign money has kept it from going into freefall. The 7,800 level has proven to be a strong support level,” Eagle Equities head of research Christopher Mangun said in his weekly outlook.
“Economic fundamentals continue to get better which will translate into better corporate earnings. Even the currency continues to get stronger. However, there is the concern of higher oil prices which will translate into more expensive goods and potentially higher inflation. Investors are still not convinced that it is time to get back in the market,” he said.
Global oil prices hit a six-month high on Monday on reports that the United States will lift sanction waivers on the importation of crude from Iran.
Many investors may likewise be waiting for the results of the midterm elections this May before getting back to the market in a big way, Mangun said.
“Another factor could be the higher yields on government bonds and the anticipation of lower interest rates which as of the moment provide a safer alternative to equities. Overall, the PSEi may continue to trade sideways but a break below support at 7,800 will target the next support at 7,600,” Mangun said.
The local market was dragged down on Monday by the financial, industrial, mining/oil and property counters.
On the other hand, the holding firm and services counters slightly gained.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P6.68 billion. Domestic investors were the ones who mostly unloaded equities while foreign investors were in a net buying position amounting to P1.25 billion.
There were 101 decliners that edged out 74 advancers while 54 stocks were unchanged.
The PSEi was weighed down by Megaworld, which slid by 4.29 percent.
Ayala Corp. and Metrobank both went down by over 2 percent, while RLC and URC slipped by over 1 percent.
Jollibee, GT Capital, BPI, SM Prime and Metro Pacific all slipped.
On the other hand, PLDT and SM Investments both added over 1 percent, while ICTSI, Bloomberry, AGI, DMCI and BDO also firmed up.
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