PSEi picks up on bargain hunting as trade resumes

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By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

LOCAL SHARES opened the trading week slightly higher as bargain hunters emerged upon the resumption of business operations in the country on Tuesday.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) picked up 16.48 points or 0.21% to close at 7,793.25 on Tuesday. The broader all shares index ended flat with a gain of 0.8 point or 0.01% to 4,605.97.

“Philippine shares were slowly bought up towards close as more investors felt assured that the damage caused by the eruption would be short term,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message, referring to the eruption of the Taal Volcano.

The Taal Volcano was spewing ash, steam and lava over the past days, which led to the shutdown of businesses in directly affected areas and in Metro Manila on Monday.

The country’s second most active volcano located south of Metro Manila in the province of Batangas is expected to remain active in the coming days, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Tuesday.

Despite this, most private offices resumed work yesterday, and the stock market welcomed investors that were ready to cash in after the extended weekend, AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said.

“The increase in trading volumes and the foreign inflows helped push the market higher,” he said in an e-mail, referring to yesterday’s value turnover of P9.88 billion (from Friday’s P6.80 billion) and net foreign buying of P157.06 million, which was lower than Friday’s P465.66 million.

For Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar, the rise of the PSEi on Tuesday was driven by “last-minute bargain hunting, as well as the optimism on the US-China trade agreement.”

Other Asian markets were mixed in yesterday’s trading session. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices increased 0.73% and 0.31%, respectively, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and China’s Shanghai SE Composite index each shed 0.24% and 0.28%.

Meanwhile, at Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.29% to end at 28,907.05 while the S&P 500 gained 0.70% to 3,288.13, its highest close ever The Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.04% to 9,273.93, also a record high.

Back home, gainers and losers among sectoral indices were divided three against three. Those that gained were industrials, which rose 168.6 points or 1.8% to 9,533.08; services jumped 22.43 points or 1.44% to 1,578.09; and financials climbed 9.2 points or 0.5% to 1,836.72.

Losers were mining and oil, which gave up 156.4 points or 1.93% to 7,951.24; property lost 44.87 points or 1.09% to 4,067.47; and holding firms dropped 13.98 points or 0.18% to 7,621.47.

Stocks that declined outnumbered those that advanced, 111 against 83, while 54 names ended unchanged. — with Reuters