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Shares snap losing streak to track Wall St.’s rise

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FILE photo of the Philippine Stock Exchange headquarters in Taguig City. Photo taken on Feb. 19, 2018. — PHOTO BY SANTIAGO JOSE J. ARNAIZ

LOCAL SHARES snapped their three-day losing streak on Monday, lifted by the upswing in global markets as the US Federal Reserve hinted on more rate hikes this year.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi)   climbed 0.38% or 32.42 points to 8,499.98 yesterday, managing to reverse intraday losses that saw the market sink to as low as 8,373.68.

The broader all-shares index also eked out a gain of 0.05% or 2.82 points to 5,066.38.

“The PSEi trailed the strong closing price of the US markets last Friday after US Fed’s John Williams chooses to stick with gradual rate hike this year versus the aggressive stand that investors have been before Jerome Powell took seat. I think that tamed the market’s bearish mood in the morning trade,” Timson Securities, Inc. equities trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a mobile phone message.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 1.39% or 347.51 points to 25,309.99 last Friday, while the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite index rose 1.6% to 2,747.30 and 1.77% to 7,337.39, respectively.

Most Asian indices also trekked higher on Monday, boosted by the performance in its international counterparts.

Back home, most sectoral indices were in positive territory, led by the financials sub-index that increased 1.59% or 34.7 points to 2,211.76. Industrials rose 0.81% or 90.32 points to 11,241.57; mining and oil added 0.60% or 73.97 points to 12,312.03; while holding firms inched up 0.41 point to 8,622.18.

On the other hand, the property sector dropped 0.83% or 31.77 points to 3,793.65, while services shed 0.39% or 6.93 points to 1,737.14.

Timson Securities’ Mr. De Celis said investors are looking forward to more earnings reports in order to boost stock prices in the weeks ahead.

“Our index stocks have to justify the expensive valuation of our market through their earnings performance and aggressive expansion for this year to convince investors to return despite the heavy foreign selling after peaking at 9,078,” Mr. De Celis said.

Meanwhile, Papa Securities Corp. still expects uncertainties moving forward.

“We might see more hesitation in the next few weeks especially if investors anticipate higher inflation in February, and rising benchmark rates,” Papa Securities trader Gabriel Perez said in an e-mail, adding that both the US Fed and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will hold their policy meetings on March 21 and 22, respectively.

Some 4.81 billion issues valued at P9.89 billion switched hands yesterday, slightly higher than Friday’s value turnover of P9.24 billion.

Despite the increase in the main index, declining stocks still outpaced those that advanced, 112 to 105, as 43 names remained unchanged.

Net foreign selling swelled to P1.53 billion on Monday against last Friday’s net sales of P1.04 billion. — Arra B. Francia