PSE index extends climb on positive sentiment

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By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX climbed for a third straight day on Thursday, mirroring the rise in Wall Street overnight amid optimism on the government’s warming stance on private partnerships.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 22.53 points or 0.40% to end at 5,604.49. The broader all shares index picked up 3.49 points or 0.10% to 3,374.96.

“The market gained 0.40% following the positive performances of the US indices overnight as investors monitor the reopening of most countries’ economies, including the Philippines, by easing lockdown measures…,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a text message.

Wall Street ended Wednesday’s session in green territory: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices rose 1.52%, 1.67% and 2.08%, respectively.

While the Philippines has yet to “flatten the curve” and as worries of a second wave still persist, the government seems to be more open to working with the private sector, and this sparked optimism among investors, Ms. Alviar said.

“[J]ust for today, we think that government’s plan or openness to public-private partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure projects gave a boost in the market,” she said.

“[T]his way, more economic activities in the country may speed up, despite the coronavirus pandemic and budget cuts (caused by) lower tax collection. This will be a great help for our economy to recover from the crisis,” Ms. Alviar added.

Despite the PSEi’s higher close, Ms. Alviar noted value turnover is still thin at P4.73 billion. She said this signals worries from investors who may still be on wait-and-see mode.

For AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun, it is also worth noting that aside from low trading volumes, blue chips were mostly limited to minor movements.

“Most investors are on the sidelines as they are pessimistic that an economic recovery will be swift,” he said in an e-mail.

Sectoral indices were divided among gainers and losers. Holding firms rose 74.47 points or 1.35% to 5,592.12; industrials added 48.08 points or 0.65% to 7,347.37; and services increased 6.39 points or 0.48% to 1,331.11. On the other hand, financials lost 11.19 points or 0.98% to 1,123.29; property shed 24.04 points or 0.84% to 2,821.30; and mining and oil trimmed 12.33 points or 0.27% to 4,529.49.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 86 against 75. Some 57 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling slightly increased to P121.72 million yesterday from P109.98 million on Wednesday.

“The main index is currently up a little over 1% for the week and with only one day of trading left for the week, it could go either way. After three days of minor gains, we may see it end lower as investors close positions before the weekend,” Mr. Mangun said.