STOCKS are seen to continue moving sideways in the coming days as investors watch out for shareholders’ meetings this post-Easter week.

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up 8.69 points or 0.11% to close at 7,835.15 on Wednesday amid a shortened trading week for the Holy Week break.

Week on week, the PSEi was lower by 0.58% or 45.67 points, with a value turnover of P19.89 billion.

The PSEi continued its weak performance from the previous week, going down by more than 1% on Monday, then recovering in the remaining trading days, managing to stay above the 7,800 mark.

Net foreign buying continued last week to average at P608.58 million.

“Investors are bound for a relatively busy post-Easter week, with the line-up of annual shareholders’ meetings,” online brokerage said in a weekly market note.

Aside from reviewing 2018 performances, stakeholders will also be looking at firms’ earnings growth this year based on their first-quarter results.

Allocation of capital expenditures will also be a point of focus, especially companies’ possible changes in spending, the brokerage said.

“As the weeks go by, the market looks weaker and weaker. The continuous inflow of foreign money has kept it from going into freefall. The 7,800 level has proven to be a strong support level. Economic fundamentals continue to get better which will translate into better corporate earnings,” Christopher John Mangun, research head of Eagle Equities, Inc. said in an e-mail.

However, he flagged concerns over higher oil prices, which could push prices of goods up.

Oil futures edged up on Thursday as a drop in crude exports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and a draw in US drilling rigs and oil inventories supported prices.

“Investors are still not convinced that it is time to get back in the market. Perhaps, investors are waiting until after the election before they start to consider getting back in,” Mr. Mangun said. also noted that traders who are into short-term trading opportunities may take on stocks that would perform well during the elections and those driven by the summer.

“With 2019’s fiscal budget in place and the end of 2018 tax reporting season, participants will trace sequels to protect approvals and deployment, especially for infra-based tickets. The market might soon price-in possibilities for fiscal tax receipts to surprise on the plus side, boost available state funding in the process. Meanwhile, expect volatility within an ascending course, given the government’s planned panda float next month,” it added.

“The PSEi may continue to trade sideways but a break below support at 7,800 will target the next support at 7,600,” Mr. Mangun said.

Meanwhile, for, support is seen at 7,700-7,750, with resistance at 7,900-7,950. — V.M.P. Galang