Bargain hunters save PH shares from bear market pull
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) eased higher on Monday as bargain hunters lifted the market during a low volume session.
By the closing bell, the PSEi added 0.34 percent, or 21.26 points, to 6,238.82 while the broader All Shares Index gained 0.44 percent, or 14.84 points, to 3,352.47.
The bellwether index rose amid lingering worries over aggressive global monetary action to tame inflation that could put at risk a sustained economic slowdown.
Adding to inflationary pressures was the weakening Philippine peso, which closed at P54.78 against the US dollar, after breaching P55 earlier in the day.
The services subsector outperformed on Monday, gaining 1.95 percent after Converge ICT Solutions Inc. bounced nearly 6 percent. Industrial and holding firms likewise gained while mining and oil, financials and property pulled back.
BDO Unibank Inc. chief strategist Jonathan Ravelas said over the weekend that bears remained in control given the recent PSEi breakdown below 6,300. He also expected the PSEi to eventually drop to possible bear market territory near the 6,000 level.
A total of 682.6 million shares valued at P5.24 billion changed hands while foreigners were net sellers to the tune of about P390 million.
PSE data showed 98 gainers versus 84 losers while 54 companies closed unchanged.
Ayala Land Inc. was the top traded stock on Monday as it gained 2.05 percent to P27.40 per share.
It was followed by Converge, up 5.84 percent to P19.58; Union Bank of the Philippines, up 0.72 percent to P76.50; International Container Terminal Services Inc., up 1.62 percent to P188; and Bank of the Philippine Islands, down 2.84 percent to P85.50 per share.
Other heavy movers were Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., down 0.1 percent to P51.45; Universal Robina Corp., up 6.51 percent to P101.50; BDO Unibank Inc., up 0.25 percent to P118.10; Solar Philippines Nueva Ecjia Corp., up 7.14 percent to P1.65; and SM Investments Corp., down 0.25 percent to P799.50 per share.
—Miguel R. Camus INQ
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