PSE index extends gains as investors buy bargains

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX started the third quarter on a positive note as investors continued to look for bargains, with sentiment also getting a lift from the positive finishes among international markets last week.

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.47% or 34.28 points to 7,227.96 on Monday, extending gains from its jump last Friday. The broader all-shares index went up 0.12% or 5.37 points to 4,398.15.

“Philippine stocks closed higher even with ongoing trade war-related jitters. Market observers continued to note that the continued bargain hunting was a good sign despite the meteoric rise on Friday from window dressing,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

The PSEi managed to defy the downtrend seen in most Asian indices on Monday, which continued to suffer from trade war fears.

Wall Street indices, meanwhile, ended in positive territory on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average picking up 0.23% or 55.36 points to 24,271.41. The S&P 500 index was up 0.08% or 2.06 points to 2,718.37, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.09% or 6.62 points to 7,510.30.

Locally, the industrials sub-index was the lone sector that ended with a loss, giving up 0.27% or 28.93 points to 10,385.91.

Meanwhile, holding firms led advancers with a gain of 0.90% or 64 points to 7,115.74, followed by mining and oil which jumped 0.77% or 75.18 points to 9,748.40. Services climbed 0.45% or 6.39 points to 1,399.01; financials went up 0.12% or 2.22 points to 1,781.52; while property added 0.07% or 2.79 points to 3,551.90.

A total of 780.25 million issues valued at some P4.8 billion switched hands yesterday, lower than Friday’s turnover of P7.1 billion.

“Notably, value turnover was light at only P4.8B (significantly lower than last Friday’s P7.1B and 20-day average of P6.5B), which shows that today’s move doesn’t have much power,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Perez said in an e-mail on Monday.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 116 to 94, while 40 issues were unchanged.

Foreign investors resumed selling their holdings, dumping a net P457.75 million worth of funds from the P526.11 million net purchases they incurred in the previous session.

While the index has been trading above the 7,000 mark for the past five sessions, Philstocks Financial, Inc. expects the market to hit a bottom of 6,800 in August.

“We’re looking at August for the market to bottom to 6,900 or 6,800. 6,800 is the major support. This coincides with the ghost month… We would rather get the negativity out, and then let things settle down and start going back up,” Philstocks Research Head Justino R. Calaycay, Jr said in a media briefing yesterday.