LOCAL SHARES ended flat on Friday in the face of MSCI rebalancing and signs of improving Sino-US trade ties, staying above 8,000 for the fifth straight day and gaining for the fifth week in a row.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down 8.05 points or 0.1% to close at 8,065.76 — but was still up 0.31% from the week-ago 8,020.68 finish on Oct. 31 — while the broader all-share index edged up 1.03 points or 0.02% to end 4,823.80.

“The market ended virtually flat today, losing just eight points to settle at 8,065.76. Today’s wild ride was largely caused by the effects of the MSCI rebalancing which affected AGI (Alliance Global Group, Inc.) and DMC (DMCI Holdings, Inc.) significantly. Thankfully, the other components of the PSEi were able to close flat or up to prevent a break below 8,000,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said in a text message.

Shares in Alliance Global and in DMCI Holdings were two of the most active stocks on Friday, yielding 6.02% to P10.62 apiece and by 5.22% to P7.63 each, respectively. They led the eight stocks that dropped on Friday’s list of 20 most active issues.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan cited developments in the US-China trade war as one of Friday’s prime movers. “Philippine shares fell after the world’s two largest economies reportedly agreed to remove existing trade tariffs, sparking a huge rotation into equities and out of bonds. As tensions decreased, investors left the Philippines and re-invested into asset classes closer to their region of domicile,” he said in a mobile phone message message.

Reuters reported that major Wall Street indices closed Thursday at record highs after Beijing said it had agreed with Washington to remove tariffs in phases and was also considering restrictions on poultry imports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.66% at 27,674.8, the S&P 500 climbed 0.27% to 3,085.18 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.28% to 8,434.52.

Many major Asian bourses went the opposite direction on Friday, with the Shanghai SE Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, South Korea’s KOSPI, India’s S&P BSE Sensex, Singapore’s Straits Times Index and the MSCI Asia APEX 50 giving up 0.49%, 0.7%, 0.33%, 0.81%, 0.65% and 0.69%, respectively.

Only Japan’s Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices ended up, by 0.26% and 0.27%, respectively.

Back home, the six sectoral indices were divided between those that gained and those that lost.

Those that gained consisted of industrial, which climbed 72.88 points or 0.7% to end at 10,478.33, services which went up 4.2 points or 0.27% to 1,551.96 and financials which climbed 4 points or 0.2% to 1,946.75.

Losers consisted of holding firms which went down 52.72 points or 0.66% to 7,933.32, mining and oil which shed 24.39 points or 0.26% to 9,092.61 and property which gave up 0.96 points or 0.02% to 4,170.89.

Some 689.053 million shares worth P6.834 billion switched hands on Friday, higher than Thursday’s 474.535 million shares worth P5.118 billion.

Stocks that lost edged out those that gained, 100 to 70, while 66 others ended flat.

Investors abroad were predominantly bearish for the third straight day, with net foreign selling growing threefold to P485.408 million from Thursday’s P161.758 million. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang