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Local stocks end 5-day slump

/ 05:14 AM May 18, 2019

The local stock barometer firmed up above the 7,500 mark on Friday as investors found relief from the local central bank’s monetary easing alongside some bargain-hunting after a five-day slump.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) racked up 108.66 points, or 1.45 percent, to close at 7,583.82. The local market outperformed regional markets amid lingering US-China trade war jitters.

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Local investors shored up the market while foreign investors continued to unload local equities. Net foreign selling for the day remained heavy at P1.39 billion.

For the week, the PSEi shed a total of 158.38 points, or 2 percent, following a disappointing first-quarter Philippine gross domestic product growth report and the escalating US-China trade tension.

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On Friday, the PSEi was led higher by services and the financial counters, which both gained more than 2 percent.

Specifically, the banking sector is seen to benefit from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ decision to slash the reserve requirement by 200 basis points on a staggered basis in the next three months.

There’s a big clamor for a reduction in the reserve requirement—which at 18 percent of deposit and deposit substitutes is the highest in the region—in order to ease the tight local financial condition. Some banks have seen a decline in net interest earnings in the first quarter due to a spike in the cost of deposits.

The holding firms and property counters also gained more than 1 percent as additional liquidity is seen to boost the domestic economy, following a below 6-percent economic growth performance in the first quarter.

On the other hand, the industrial and mining/oil counters declined.

Value turnover for the day amounted to P8.21 billion.

There were 122 advancers that edged out 72 decliners, while 40 companies were unchanged.

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Security Bank led the PSEi higher, gaining 8.02 percent.

ICTSI, on the other hand, rebounded by 4 percent after the previous day’s 4.95-percent slide.

SM Prime, Metrobank and Megaworld all added more than 3 percent, while PLDT, Globe Telecom and GT Capital all rose by over 2 percent.

Ayala Corp., BDO, Meralco, Metro Pacific and Robinsons Retail all advanced by more than 1 percent.

Ayala Land, SM Investments, BPI and JG Summit also firmed up.

On the other hand Jollibee fell by 2.81 percent as investors continued to price in a sluggish performance for the first two quarters of this year. In the first quarter, Jollibee saw a 14.7-percent year-on-year drop in attributable net profit to P1.53 billion due to losses incurred by American subsidiary Smashburger.

URC also slipped by 0.2 percent.

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TAGS: Local Stock, Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi)
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