PSEi climbs on blue chips, trade talks’ progress

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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 firmed up on Tuesday, lifted by gains of index heavyweights alongside optimism on the United States and China’s trade deal.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.32% or 26.03 points to close at 7,988.16 following the long weekend. The broader all-shares index likewise climbed 0.25% or 12.28 points to 4,896.11.

“Because of the holiday, the market has just now digested the positive news that the March 1 deadline for US China talks has been extended, building on optimism that it will be solved sooner than later,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. President William Matthew M. Cabangon said via text.

Mr. Cabangon noted that local investors are still selling into the rally, with most of the support coming from foreign investors who recorded a net buying figure of P1.21 billion. This is more than five times the P17.62 million posted last Friday.

“Until we receive more clarity on the next BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) chief and on the global trade talks, it may prove difficult to meaningfully breach the 8,000 PSEi level,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Timson Securities, Inc. trader Jervin S. de Celis attributed the PSEi’s uptick to the performance of blue chips.

“Our index still closed 26 points higher after heavyweights such as BDO (Unibank, Inc.), ALI (Ayala Land, Inc.), JGS (JG Summit Holdings, Inc.), SM (SM Investments Corp.) and SMPH (SM Prime Holdings, Inc.) lifted the bourse,” Mr. De Celis said in a mobile phone message.

Shares in BDO were the most actively traded yesterday, soaring 1.55% to P131 each, after reporting that net income surged by 17% to P32.7 billion in 2018. This is higher than its profit guidance of P31 billion last year.

ALI was up 1.01%, JGS jumped 1.46%, SM added 0.51%, while SMPH ended 0.64% higher.

Financials was the lone counter in the red, dropping 0.43% or 7.64 points to close at 1,747.04.

The rest were in positive territory, led by mining and oil which jumped 0.81% or 70.30 points to close at 8,680.15. Holding firms gained 0.6% or 48.45 points to 8,069.37; property went up 0.58% or 23.79 points to 4,069.47; industrials advanced 0.38% or 44.48 points to 11,722.65; while services added 0.36% or 5.81 points to 1,584.20.

Value turnover improved to P10.93 billion on Tuesday versus the previous session’s P8.01 billion after some 1.15 billion issues switched hands. Decliners outpaced advancers, 104 to 91, while 51 names were unchanged.

Wall Street indices also ended higher overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 0.23% or 60.14 points to 26,091.95. The S&P 500 index added 0.12% or 3.44 points to 2,796.11, while the Nasdaq Composite index firmed up 0.36% or 26.92 points to 7,554.46.

Most Asian markets dropped on Tuesday, as investors sought clarity on the trade deal between the US and China.