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Bargain hunt lifts bourse back above 7,700

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PHOTO BY SANTIAGO JOSE J. ARNAIZ

THE Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) managed to crawl back above the 7,700 line on Friday amid bargain-hunting after falling to a one-year low the preceding day, even as it continued a trend of weekly losses.

PSEi gained 44.48 points or 0.57% to close 7,726.72 on Friday, while the all-shares index added 21.64 points or 0.46% to finish 4,687.29.

PSEi was now down 2.19% on the week and 9.72% lower than the 8,558.42 finish of 2017 that was that year’s 14th peak.

In a reversal from Thursday that saw only one of the six sectoral indices close with gains, Friday saw four indices end higher.

Foreigners, however, remained predominantly bearish for the second straight day though their net sales were just a little over a 10th of Thursday’s amount.

“The index managed to recover most of its losses from yesterday’s drop,” Gio Perez, trader at Papa Securities Corp., said in an e-mail when sought for comment.

“A considerable value turnover of P6.7B… accompanied the index as trading picked up in the afternoon session after a relatively quiet morning,” he added, noting that “[t]he local market resorted to bargain hunting after foreign funds sold down heavily yesterday.”

“It is possible that we may see some strength soon…”

For Mark Levinson Koa, marketing head and trader at Timson Securities, Inc., “Basically, the move today was most probably just a relief rally from all the selling that happened Monday-Thursday.”

“Since market sentiment and the PSEi’s technicals all point to more downside, this could just be a short pause before the bears take the market to lower levels in the weeks to come,” Mr. Koa said in a mobile phone message.

Markets overseas did not offer any encouragement, as:

• Wall Street retreated on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.34% to 24,664.89, S&P 500 down 0.57% to 2,693.13 and the Nasdaq Composite Index down 0.78% to 7,238.06;

• while Friday saw Japan’s Nikkei 225, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, South Korea’s KOSPI, Shanghai Composite Index, Straits Times Index and the Jakarta Composite Index drop 0.13%, 0.94%, 0.39%, 1.47%, 0.70% and 0.29%, respectively.

Only two of the Philippine bourse’s six sectoral indices closed with losses: mining & oil by 13.64 points or 0.12% at 10,682.37 and financials by 12.34 points or 0.61% at 1,994.89.

The others finished higher:

• property by 51.87 points or 1.46% to 3,591.36;

• industrials by 96.68 points or 0.88 to 11,084.34;

• holding firms by 51.63 or 0.67 to 7,650.92;

• and services by 0.85 of a point or 0.05% to 1,569.24.

Friday’s list of most active stocks saw 14 with gains and five with losses.

Those that gained were led by the likes of BDO Unibank, Inc.; Ayala Land, Inc.; Jollibee Foods Corp.; PLDT, Inc.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; Ayala Corp. and Megaworld Corp. whose prices increased by 0.3% to P134 apiece; 2.49% to P41.10; 2.11% to P291; 1.82% to P1,395; 1.75% to P61.05; 1.43% to P919 and 2.8% to P4.40 each.

The five on the same list that ended Friday with losses were Alliance Global Group, Inc.; Vitarich Corp.; Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.; Energy Development Corp. and GT Capital Holdings, Inc. that shed 2.67% to P13.14 apiece; 12.22% to P3.16; 0.72% to P82.90; 0.36% to P5.47 and 0.95% to P1,045 each.

Friday ended with stocks that gained outnumbering those that lost 120 to 83, while 41 others were flat.

Volume thinned, with 725.942 million shares worth P6.716 billion changing hands, compared to Thursday’s 1.82 billion shares worth P11.761 billion.

Net foreign selling dropped 85.69% to P381.148 million from Thursday’s P2.664 billion. — with inputs from PPCM