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Bourse breaks 4-day fall, but ends short of 8,000

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PHOTO BY SANTIAGO JOSE J. ARNAIZ

THE Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) snapped its four-day losing streak on Thursday as foreigners returned to buying mode, but this was not enough to pull the bourse back above the 8,000 mark.

PSEi rose by 0.89% or 71.01 points to finish 7,991.25 yesterday, while the broader all-shares index likewise gained 0.82% or 39.65 points to end 4,851.64.

“Philippine shares finally charged ahead after successive profit-taking sessions with major indices nearing overbought, more hope on a trade deal being reached between US and China and, the US Core CPI (consumer price index) being firmer,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to meet key members of a US trade talks delegation in Beijing on Friday, which is seen as a positive step towards arriving at a concrete deal before their 90-day truce expires on March 1.




Mr. Limlingan also noted that US core inflation clocked in at 2.2% in January, surprising economists.

These developments propped up Wall Street’s main indices overnight: the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.46%, the S&P 500 index by 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite index by 0.08%.

Many of Asia’s major indices, however, retreated: Japan’s Nikkei 225 by 0.02%, the Shanghai SE Composite by 0.05%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng by 0.23%, while South Korea’s KOSPI Index surged 1.11%.

For AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. President William Matthew M. Cabangon, PSEi will need market-moving good developments to help sustain an ascent. “Over the last few years, the market has believed ‘no bad news means good news’, leading to rallies. Now, it seems like ‘no good news means bad news’,” Mr. Cabangon said in a text message. “With positive fundamental news coming out in January, it seems the market is starved for even more in order to continue its upward trajectory.”

Five of the six local sectoral indices gained: financials by 31.44 points or 1.74% to close 1,835.10, property by 66.13 points or 1.66% to 4,029.77, industrials by 110.72 points or 0.96% to 11,548.88, services by 9.01 points or 0.57% to 1,590.46 and holding firms by 4.76 points or 0.06% to 7,892.41. Only mining and oil fell this time — by 53.67 points or 0.62% to finish 8,516.19.

Turnover slimmed to P5.11 billion after some 3.79 billion issues switched hands, versus Wednesday’s 4.63 billion issues worth P7.27 billion. Stocks that gained outnumbered those that declined 115 to 92, while 39 ended flat.

Foreign investors returned to net buying mode with P251.90-million net purchases, versus Wednesday’s P246.03-million net sales.

Thursday’s list of 20 most active stocks showed only five declined: Xurpas, Inc. (down 4.79%), GT Capital Holdings, Inc. (-2.67%), Petron Corp. (-1.33%), JG Summit (-0.71%), and Ayala Corp. (-0.43%).

Those that gained included Filinvest Development Corp. (10.94%) and Bloomberry Resorts Corp. (3.25%). — Arra B. Francia