LOCAL EQUITIES staged a last-minute rally yesterday that enabled the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) to break its three-day fall and sneak back above 8,300.

The PSEi – which had been largely in red territory for much of yesterday – climbed by 23.43 points or 0.28% to finish 8,303.35, while the all-shares index rose by 9.24 points or 0.19% to end 4,864.56. PSEi yesterday opened slightly stronger than Tuesday’s 8,279.92 finish at 8,299.68, weakened to 8,244.11 and peaked at 8,327.76 amid trading.

Noting that “[s]hares were bought up at the last minute on light trading value turnover in the PSEi,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said of the last-minute rally in a text message that “[s]ometimes it’s a strategy.”

“If you look at the early morning, we were up. They let prices drop to give the impression there were no buyers. And then bam!” Mr. Limlingan added, noting that the local market was aligned with Wall Street’s rise on Tuesday.

For Ramon Emmanuel B. Badiola, equity analyst/trader at Meridian Securities, Inc., “It’s most probably the end-of-month window dressing.”

“I think they’re already starting,” Mr. Badiola said by phone.

“But the volume is still small, so we will see correction to 8,150-8,100 level.”

Sub-indices that gained consisted of holding firms that added 112.88 points or 1.34% to close 8,535.64, mining and oil that increased by 75.01 points or 0.57% to 13,154.95 and industrials that edged up by 7.37 points or 0.06% to 10,859.83.

Those that lost consisted of financials that retreated by 13.44 points or 0.66% to finish 1,995.65, services that gave up 9.54 points or 0.56% to 1,692.62 and property that declined by 9.02 points or 0.23% to end 3,904.06.

Stocks that lost continued to eclipse those that advanced 107 to 91, while 39 were unchanged.

Wednesday’s list of 20 most actively traded stocks saw Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc.; Security Bank Corp.; SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. leading those that gained with increases of 2.72% to P2.64 apiece, 2.41% to P255, 2.13% to P960 and 2.002% to P1,019, respectively.

Leading those that lost yesterday were Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.; GT Capital Holdings, Inc.; Manila Electric Co.; Ayala Land, Inc.; BDO Unibank, Inc.; PLDT, Inc. and Megaworld Corp. that gave up 2.79% to P87 each, 2.42% to P1,127, 1.81% to P282.40, 1.59% to P43.30, 1.47% to P134, 1.15% to P1,720 and 1.12% to P5.28 apiece, respectively.

Wednesday saw 1.23-billion stocks worth P5.91 billion changing hands from Tuesday’s 670.66 million shares worth P7.89 billion.

Foreigners remained largely sellers for a second straight day, although net sales were nearly halved to P684.77 million from Tuesday’s P1.17 billion. – JCL