PSE index ekes out small gain amid lack of leads

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FILE photo of the Philippine Stock Exchange headquarters in Taguig City. Photo taken on Feb. 19, 2018. — PHOTO BY SANTIAGO JOSE J. ARNAIZ

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX eked out gains on Tuesday following minimal movement due to a lack of leads.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 0.01% or 1.21 points to close at 8,008.67 after trading in the negative for most of the day. The broader all-shares index, meanwhile, gained 0.22% or 10.97 points to 4,809.97.

“Our index managed to recover from the intraday loss and ended positive today as investors wait for the release of our GDP (gross domestic product) rate on Thursday. Estimates range from 5.9%-6.8%,” Timson Securities, Inc. trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a mobile message on Tuesday.

Mr. De Celis added that the PSEi could trade higher should the GDP figure reach the upper range of the consensus, but could be at risk of falling below 8,000 should it be lower than the range.

“It was another quiet session for the Philippine market as the US was on holiday and China macro data came in without much fanfare,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a separate message.

Financial markets in the United States were closed on Monday in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Futures, however, are pointing to a decline as investors are seeing gloomy comments from the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos.

The International Monetary Fund trimmed its global growth outlook by 0.2% to 3.5% in 2019, and by 0.1% to 3.5% in 2020. The organization noted that global expansion is weakening at a rate that is “somewhat faster than expected.”

With this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures shed 0.6% or 150 points to 24,538. The S&P 500 futures went down 0.6% or 15.10 points to 2,656.50, while the Nasdaq futures also fell 0.7% or 48.50 points to 6,743.

Four sectoral indices moved to positive territory, led by services which jumped 1.21% or 18.66 points to 1,550.71. Financials rose 0.53% or 9.66 points to 1,809.24; industrials climbed 0.28% or 32.82 points to 11,660.18; while mining and oil added 0.21% or 19.09 points to 8,776.46.

On the other hand, property plunged 1.16% or 47.16 points to 4,001.22 while holding firms dipped 0.07% or 5.73 points to 7,956.35.

Value turnover climbed to P6.47 billion after some 1.80 billion issues switched hands, higher than the previous session’s P5.67 billion.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 115 to 104, while 34 names ended flat.

Net foreign inflows ballooned to P908.64 million from Monday’s net buying figure of only P52.93 million.

“Foreigners remain net buyers today despite the economic slowdown news in China but I think the stimulus as well as the lower inflation outlook for this year are keeping the strong appetite of foreign investors in our market,” Timson Securities’ Mr. De Celis said on Tuesday.