PHL stocks to move sideways on weak sentiment

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By Arra B. Francia
Senior Reporter

SHARES MAY move sideways in the week ahead amid generally weak investor sentiment, although some may continue bargain hunting after last week’s sell-off.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) jumped 2.11% or 159.05 points to close at 7,704.60 on Friday, snapping a five-day losing streak as investors returned to the market just as prices got lower.

Friday’s rally, however, was not enough to pare the week’s losses, as the main index ended the week down by 1.47%.

Trading volume stood at P37.88 billion overall for the week, while net foreign outflows hit P5.84 billion.

“Despite (the recovery on Friday), the general investor sentiment remains extremely cautious which means we may not see the market start to go higher,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in a market report.

“We may see some excitement from retail investors as Axelum lists on the exchange on Monday. Investors may see a good opportunity in this company as the demand for coconut products abroad is picking up at a rapid pace and because of the performance of the last IPO that we saw last month,” Mr. Mangun added.

Integrated coconut products manufacturer Axelum Resources Corp. will list its shares on the stock exchange today following its P4-billion initial public offering.

This week will also see the listing of Villar-led home improvement and construction supplies retailer AllHome Corp., with an IPO size of up to P14.878 billion. Its shares will be listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said investors will look to Wall Street’s performance for guidance this week.

“Movement next week for the PSEi should still be highly likely influenced by US market movement. Support remains at May’s low of 7,475,” Mr. Perez said in an e-mail.

Markets in the United States mostly ended in positive territory on Friday following the release of the Labor Department’s monthly employment report, which kept hopes up for an interest rate cut this month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.42% or 372.68 points to 26,573.72. The S&P 500 index jumped 1.42% or 41.38 points to 2,952.01, while the Nasdaq Composite index also went up 1.40% or 110.21 points to 7,982.47.

For his part, Mr. Mangun placed the market’s support at 7,500 to 7,630, with resistance from 7,750 to 7,920.

“If we do not see heavy selling next week, there is a chance that the PSEi may end in the green, but a lack of buying pressure at the beginning of the week will signal bargain hunters from last week to go back into cash as investors may not believe that the market is ready to rally,” Mr. Mangun said.