Shares to consolidate in shortened trading week

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SHARES may continue consolidating in the days ahead, given the shorter trading week due to the Lenten break.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 1.89% or 153.65 points to close at 7,970.80 on Friday, pulling the market 3.25% lower on a weekly basis.

Week on week, the mining and oil sector dragged the main index as it dipped 3.53%, while holding firms also lost 3.41%. Net foreign outflows persisted at P6.4 billion, although slightly lower than the week prior’s P6.56 billion.

Among last week’s losers were three of the country’s largest conglomerates, namely GT Capital Holdings, Inc. which saw its shares slump 9.86% to P1,170 each; Alliance Global Group, Inc. which dropped 9.74% to P12.98 each; and Ayala Corp., which went down 7.27% to P918 each.

“With global equity markets crashing abroad, the Philippine stock market was not an exception…the PSEi would have been down even more if not for the temporary recovery that we saw on Thursday when the index gained more than 100 points,” Eagle Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in a market report.

International markets were mostly down last week due to the 25-basis point rate hike by the United States Federal Reserve, as well as looming trade wars after US President Donald J. Trump imposted tariffs on Chinese products.

The local central bank also chose to keep interest rates steady at its policy meeting last March 22, which investors assessed would affect the market.

This week, analysts expect less action from the bourse as it suspends trading for Holy Thursday, March 29, and Good Friday, March 30.

“Limited movement may ensue this week, as fund managers prepare for the Lenten break,” online brokerage said in a weekly market note.

Mr. Mangun noted that value turnover improved last week, climbing 10.53% to P10.71 billion week on week, which he sees as a positive sign that the market may start bouncing back soon.

“As we start to see trading volume pick up, this may be an indication that we may see a selling climax soon. We may see the market consolidate at these levels before it starts going up again. I don’t see this market going below 7,700 and I believe we will see this market recover in the following weeks,” he said.

Andrew L. Tan-led Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. is set to release its 2017 earnings result this week, while Oriental Petroleum and Minerals Corp. will have it shareholder meeting. placed the market’s immediate support at 7,900 and secondary support at 7,800, while resistance will range from 8,000 to 8,200.