THE MAIN INDEX ended with a slight gain on Friday on hopes of a truce in the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) recorded a 4.66-point or 0.08% uptick to 5,346.97, while the broader all shares index increased 21.18 points or 0.65% to close at 3,259.66.

“Philippine shares closed slightly higher as hopes for a truce in the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and a cut in oil output drove gains, taking some sting out of a shocking jump in Americans filing jobless claims due to coronavirus-led lockdowns,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

US President Donald Trump said he had appealed to Saudi Arabia and Russia to reduce output by 10-15 million barrels per day, in an attempt to put and end to their ongoing price war, Reuters reported on Thursday.

US markets ended higher at the close of Thursday’s trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indices growing 2.24%, 2.28% and 1.72%, respectively.

But the gains at the local bourse remained subdued on Friday, as Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said investors don’t want to stay in the market during the weekend when development overseas is unpredictable.

“We are seeing slight profit taking… Investors right now are not in the long(-run) for the market but are rather selling on rallies,” he said.

Four of six sectoral indices closed in green territory on Friday: industrials rose 106 points or 1.67% to 6,433.97; mining and oil picked up 54.94 points or 1.3% to 4,261.87; services added 15.09 points 1.28% to 1,188.90; and holding firms increased 30.44 points or 0.58% to 5,265.52.

In red territory are property, which lost 39.75 points or 1.38% to 2,824.16; and financials, which shed 11.06 points or 0.92% to 1,183.78.

Value turnover on Friday stood at P4.03 billion with 293.3 million issues switching hands, slightly lower than Thursday’s P4.4 billion with 384.02 million issues.

Advancers trumped decliners, 98 against 74, while 39 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors continued to pull their money out of the market, with net selling closing totalling P570.32 million, albeit lower than Thursday’s P1.01 billion. — Denise A. Valdez