By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, Reporter

LOCAL shares continued its sluggish performance on the last trading day of 2019, on as investors took profits ahead of the long holiday.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slipped 27.02 points or 0.35% to close at 7,815.26 on Friday. The broader all-share index gained 6.47 points or 0.14% to end 4,649.67.

“Last-minute profit-taking ahead of the holiday brought our local market down by 0.34% to 7,815.26,” Japhet Louis O. Tantiango, research associate at Philstocks Financial Inc., said in a text message.

Mr. Tantiango noted net outflows on Friday stood at P817 million, a reversal from the previous session’s net inflows at P143.38 million. Value turnover was at P6.6 billion with 565.493 million issues, higher than the previous session’s 911.474 million issues valued at P3.602 billion.

“The good thing here is that the market was able to hold its ground above the 7,700 — 7,800 support range. At the same time, we were still able to close 2019 with gains with the market up by 4.68% year-to-date,” he added.

For Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan, the main index’s performance for the last trading day of 2019 was driven by window dressing, “investors wanting to remain on the sideline while market is closed for 5 days, and flows into the other regional markets.”

Reuters reported the number of weekly jobless claims in the United States fell by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended December 21, which means that Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined. This in return helped drive the US markets higher.

Dow Jones Industrial climbed 105.94 points or 0.37% to 28,621.39, the S&P 500 index gained 16.53 points or 0.51% to 3,239.91, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 69.51 points or 0.78% to 9,022.39.

For Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 87.20 points or 0.36% to 23,837.72; Kospi Index increased 6.28 points or 0.29% to 2,204.21; HongKong’s Hang Seng index gained 361.21 points or 1.30% to 28,225.42; and Shanghai Composite fell 2.32 points or 0.08% to 3,005.04.

At the PSE, all sub-sectors gained except holding firms, which fell 61.70 points or 0.81% to close 7,592.07, and property, which was down 3 points or 0.07% to close at 4,154.52.

Meanwhile, mining and oil gained 64.05 points or 0.80% to end at 8,091.98; industrial inched up 11.23 points or 0.12% to 9,635.07; services rose 3.13 points or 0.21% to close at 1,531.10; and financials added 2.94 points or 0.16% to 1,863.65.

Gainers outnumbered losers, 104 to 86, while 43 issues were unchanged.

Trading at the PSE will resume on Jan. 2, 2020.