PSE index inches up on mixed earnings results

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By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

SHARES FIRMED UP on Thursday, defying the weakness in markets abroad as investors were cautious about prospects on the US-China trade war.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 0.29% or 24.57 points to close at 8,258.05 yesterday, recovering from a two-day decline. The broader all-shares index likewise rose 0.14% or 7.44 points to 5,008.98.

“Investors bought cautiously into the market, digesting mixed earnings results and economic data, while the lack of progress on the trade dispute with China remained a concern also,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Luis A. Limlingan said in a text message.

US President Donald J. Trump earlier said he can impose additional tariffs on $325 billion worth of Chinese goods if they wanted to, despite his agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping to hold off on new trade penalties during the G20 Summit last month.

Meanwhile, China remains on a wait-and-see mode on how the US will relax restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. before committing to a new deal.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun noted how the PSEi bested other markets that also looked to developments on the trade war for cues.

“The PSEi outperformed most of its Asian peers as markets ended lower mirroring the performance of western markets in the last trading session on premature signs that the US-China trade war could hurt corporate earnings, which pushed for some demand for US Treasuries,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded in a tight range on Thursday, as the US Federal Reserve’s bright domestic economic outlook curbed expectations of extensive policy easing and renewed tariff war fears soured risk appetite.

Meanwhile, Wall Street’s indices were mostly down, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.42% or 115.78 points to 27,219.85. The S&P 500 index lost 0.65% or 19.62 points to 2,984.42, while the Nasdaq Composite index retreated 0.46% or 37.59 points to 8,185.21.

Back home, four sectoral indices ended in positive territory, led by mining and oil which jumped 1.46% or 114.78 points to 7,950.72. Financials surged 1.04% or 19.38 points to 1,871.02; services added 0.32% or 5.42 points to 1,682.12, while holding firms went up 0.28% or 22.65 points to 7,934.25.

Meanwhile, industrials dropped 0.42% or 50.18 points to 11,756.98 and property slipped 0.1% or 4.67 points to 4,412.36.

Some 975.57 million issues valued at P5.60 billion switched hands, improving from the previous session’s P5.31 billion.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 116 to 79, while 52 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors were net buyers for the fifth straight session at P540.72 million, higher than Wednesday’s P384.07 million. — with Reuters