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Local stocks climb ahead of another Brexit vote

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PSE
PHILSTAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

LOCAL EQUITIES rose on Wednesday even as investors grappled with another make-or-break parliamentary vote on the Brexit.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) managed to close yesterday’s session 0.24% higher or 18.61 points to 7,766.15, despite sideways movement for most of the day. The broader all-shares index added 0.1% or 4.87 points to 4,800.67.

“The PSEi continues to trade sideways ahead of yet another make-or-break parliamentary vote on Brexit,” Eagle Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

A series of votes are currently laid out for the British parliament in the coming weeks, ahead of a March 29 deadline for the UK to leave the European Union. The UK Parliament on Tuesday thumbed down Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed agreement, raising fears of a no-deal exit that continues to be a cause for concern for financial markets worldwide.

The UK Parliament will once again vote on Wednesday for a no-deal withdrawal. Should that fail, it will vote again on Thursday on whether to delay the divorce.




On the other hand, Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said the PSEi continued to move sideways due to a lack of catalysts, noting that turnover was only P4.7 billion, excluding block sales.

Some 1.38 billion issues switched hands valued at P5.14 billion, thinner than the previous session’s P5.70-billion turnover.

“The index might continue to trade sideways for the remaining days of the week on a lack of internal catalysts. Main drive could still remain to be significant moves in the US markets so watch out for those,” Mr. Perez said in an e-mail.

The PSEi bucked the negativity seen in Asian markets, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropping 0.99% or 213.45 points to 21,290.24. The Hang Seng index fell 0.39% or 113.42 points to 28,807.45.

Meanwhile, Wall Street indices were mixed on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 0.38% or 96.22 points to 25,554.66. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index rose 0.30% or 8.22 points to 2,791.52, while the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.44% or 32.97 points too 7,591.03.

Locally, sectoral indices were equally split between losers and gainers. Property led those that ended in positive territory as it surged 0.92% or 35.74 points to 3,918.31. Financials rallied 0.88% or 15.39 points to 1,764.80, while industrials firmed up 0.83% or 96.10 points to 11,617.51.

In contrast, holding firms shed 0.71% or 55.05 points to 7,695.11. Mining and oil went down 0.03% or 3.11 points to 7,947.36, while services slipped 0.03 point to 1,568.57.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 101 to 82, while 60 names were unchanged.

Net foreign selling persisted at P110.51 million, albeit lower than Tuesday’s net outflow worth P348.84 million.