THE MAIN INDEX maintained its 7,500 support level at the close of the trading week amid a flat turnout after Friday’s session.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 0.69 point to close at 7,507.20 on Friday. Meanwhile, the broader all shares index dipped 0.08 point to 4,422.64.

“Philippine shares closed flat on the BSP’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) decision to cut interest rates by 25 basis points yesterday, more updates from the Coronavirus and China’s statement that it will cut tariff on US goods by as much as 50%,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message on Friday.

While anticipation of the BSP’s rate cut announcement pushed the PSEi up on Thursday, it was dampened by the Health department’s report on Friday that one of the patients it is investigating for infection to the novel coronavirus died due to pneumonia on Thursday.

In China, the center of the novel coronavirus, the death toll reached 636 people and confirmed cases jumped to 31,161 as of Friday, Reuters reported.

Unlike the local bourse, other Asian markets were not able to maintain their growth trajectory on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices shed 0.19% and 0.28% respectively, as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.33% and South Korea’s Kospi index gave up 0.72%.

Sectoral indices at the PSE were mostly up. Financials rose 6.71 points or 0.37% to 1,791.09; property gained 9.80 points or 0.24% to 4,036.80; mining and oil added 14.02 points or 0.19% to 7,383.47; and industrials climbed 6.70 points or 0.07% to 9,391.68.

The losers were services, which fell 7.71 points or 0.51% to 1,502.87, and holding firms, which lost 26.03 points or 0.36% to 7,146.01.

Some 2.86 billion issues worth P5.33 billion switched hands on Friday, lower from Thursday’s 6.22 billion issues worth P7.04 billion.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 105 against 71, while 54 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors remained buyers but their net purchases were cut to P288.47 million from P1.43 billion the previous day. — Denise A. Valdez