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Bargain hunt spurs slight recovery

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Traders monitor an electronic board at the Philippine stock Exchange in Manila on December 17, 2015. — AFP

PHILIPPINE EQUITIES recovered on Friday from three straight days of decline to close above the 8,800 mark, with one analyst attributing the week’s positive end to bargain-hunting by investors.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) closed at 8,810.75, up by 72.03 points or 0.82%, while the all-shares index finished 5,181.82, up by 50.90 points or 0.99%.

PSEi was down 2.55% on the week but still up 2.95% from 2017’s 8,558.42 finish.

“The index closed above 8,800 today as local investors picked stocks at bargain prices after the sudden dip in global equities that started on Tuesday,” Jervin S. de Celis, equities trader at Timson Securities, Inc. said in a message.

Thursday saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 37.32 points or 0.14% at 26,186.71, while the S&P 500 Index slipped by 1.83 points or 0.06% to 2,821.98 and the Nasdaq Composite Index sank by 25.62 points or 0.35% at 7,385.86.

“Philippine markets managed to carve out substantial gains after several days of being sold down with US stock indexes, switching between gains and losses as concerns about a pick-up in inflation and rising bond yields fostered emerging volatility on Wall Street,” Mr. de Celis noted, adding that “the all-time high this week was also taken advantage to liquidate shares since our market is already trading at high valuations”.

The PSEi last Jan. 29 marked its ninth peak for 2018 at a 9,058.62 finish before it embarked on a three-day decline.

Major bourses elsewhere in Asia were a mixed bunch, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix Index as well as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipping by 0.90%, 0.33% and 0.12%, respectively, while the Shenzhen-Shanghai CSI 300 Index and the MSCI AC Asia Pacific rose by 0.60% and 0.20%, respectively.

All local sectoral indices ended Friday with gains, led by mining and oil that increased by 212.7 points or 1.79% to 12,083.05, followed by industrials that advanced by 121.04 points or 1.02% to 11,891.59, holding firms that went up by 90.86 points or 1.01% to 9,007.76, property which rose by 36.35 points or 0.91% to 3,993.89, services which added 11.89 points or 0.69% to 1,718.11 and financials which edged up by 3.59 points or 0.16% to 2,223.55.

Friday’s list of 20 most active stocks saw only three that fell: Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc.; Security Bank Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. that fell by 2.90% to P6.70 apiece, 0.73% to P243.40 and by 0.62% to P6.46 each, respectively.

Stocks that gained were led by the likes of SM Investments Corp.; SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Ayala Land, Inc.; Semirara Mining and Power Corp.; Jollibee Foods Corp.; Megaworld Corp. and San Miguel Corp. that increased by 0.59% to P1,030 apiece, 1.23% to P36.95, 1.10% to P45.85%, 1.74% to P37.90, 2.37% to P294, 1.22% to P4.96 and by 4.90% to P152 each.

Stocks that gained outnumbered those that lost 123 to 72, while 58 others were unchanged.

Friday saw 3.08 billion shares worth P7.851 billion change hands, compared to Thursday’s 2.748 billion issues worth P7.34 billion.

Foreigners remained predominantly sellers for a sixth straight day, marking Friday with P978.262-million net sales that were nevertheless 28% smaller than Thursday’s P1.359 billion. — with inputs from P. P. C. Marcelo

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