PSEi inches higher as investors pick up bargains

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STOCKS INCHED UP on Tuesday, with investors going bargain hunting amid an ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) eked out a gain of 0.11% or 9.27 points to finish at 8,048.72.

The broader all-shares index also added 0.04% or 2.35 points to 4,871.90.

“Philippine markets still continued with its bargain hunting as the country was viewed as a safe alternative given the ongoing trade wars… Some portfolio managers share the view that emerging markets such as our country may be a beneficiary to the trade wars,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said.

In response to US President Donald J. Trump’s announcement to impose higher tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the world’s largest economy, China said it will place tariffs of up to 25% on imports of 128 American-made products, including pork and seamless steel pipes.

Wall Street shares plunged on Monday as investors fled technology stocks amid resurgent trade war worries, with key indexes trading below their 200-day moving averages and the S&P 500 closing below that pivotal technical level for the first time since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.9% or 458.92 points to close at 23,644.19. The S&P 500 plunged 2.23% or 58.99 points to 2,581.88, while the Nasdaq Composite index also lost 2.74% or 193.33 points to 6,870.12.

Most Asian indices were also weighed down by the ongoing trade war, closing lower on Tuesday.

Back home, four sectoral indices advanced, while the remaining two declined. Leading gainers was the mining and oil counter, which picked up 1.43% or 158.56 points to 11,208.07. Holding firms rose 1.01% or 80.80 points to 8,046.67; services climbed 0.62% or 10.47 points to 1,676.61, while property was up 0.02% or 0.77 points to 3,682.74.

Meanwhile, the financials counter dropped 1.12% or 23.50 points to 2,059.20, while industrials gave up 0.89% or 103.09 points to 11,371.28.

The market saw some 2.34 billion issues exchange hands for a total value turnover of P6.11 billion. This marks a slight recovery from Monday’s thin trading that resulted in a P4.55-billion turnover.

Analysts have said that the PSEi will continue consolidating this quarter until it establishes a firm base at the 8,000 level.

Decliners beat advancers, 104 to 98, while 45 names were unchanged.

Net foreign outflows slowed to P238.61 million on Tuesday against the net sales of P625.30 million in the previous session.

Nine of the 20 most actively traded stocks ended with gains, with SM Investments Corp. adding 3.17% to P975 each. Globe Telecom, Inc. rallied 2.71% to P1,668 each, while LT Group, Inc. also climbed 1.42% to P20 apiece. — Arra B. Francia with Reuters