Shares climb in thin trade ahead of inflation data

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SHARES firmed up on Tuesday amid thin trading as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the release of June inflation data.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index climbed 0.54% or 39.38 points to 7,267.34, marking the third consecutive day of gains for the market.

The broader all-shares index also rose 0.26% or 11.68 points to 4,409.83.

“Philippine markets continued to remain positive in July albeit the weaker trading volumes as US indices also kicked off the beginning of the third quarter on a positive note,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

Markets overseas finished relatively flat on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.15% or 35.77 points to 24,307.18. The S&P 500 index went up 0.31% or 8.34 points to 2,726.71, while the Nasdaq Composite index edged higher by 0.76% or 57.38 points to 7,567.69.

Asian indices closed mixed as China’s trade relations with the United States continued to weigh down investor sentiment.

Back home, four sectoral indices moved to positive territory, led by holding firms which jumped 0.92% or 65.43 points to 7,181.17. Industrials followed with an increase of 0.59% or 61.56 points to 10,447.47, while financials climbed 0.34% or 6.09 points to 1,787.61. Property added 0.31% or 11.10 points to 3,563.

On the other hand, services lost 0.54% or 7.57 points to 1,391.44, while mining and oil gave up 0.37% or 36.60 points to 9,711.80.

The market saw some 539.76 million issues valued at P4.78 billion switch hands, almost flat from the previous session’s turnover of P4.8 billion.

“The low value turnover and relatively quiet moves by the index may be representative of the hesitation investors are feeling in anticipation of June’s inflation figure to be released this Thursday, June 5,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is scheduled to release inflation figures for June on July 5, with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projecting it to stay between a range of 4.3% to 5.1%.

“Locally, investors are watching out for the latest inflation which comes out Thursday, and will remain on the sidelines as the US closes after tonight for its Independence Day celebration,” Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan said. The US celebrates its Independence Day every July 4.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 97 to 88, while 50 names remained unchanged.

Net foreign outflows slimmed to P424.86 million, slightly lower than Monday’s net sales of P457.75 million.

The most heavily traded stocks for the day included Universal Robina Corp., which rallied 2.3% to P124.80 each, Ayala Land, Inc. with flat shares at P38 each, and SM Investments Corp. that jumped 1.67% to P915 each.