Shares edge higher on MSCI index rebalancing

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THE MAIN INDEX posted an uptick on Thursday on the back of adjustments in the MSCI index, even as the market continued to stay on the sidelines due to the lack of catalysts.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange inched up by 0.02% or 1.84 points to 7,958.57 yesterday.

The all-shares index also rose 0.02% or 1.27 points to 4,723.27.

“If you notice the (value) of P11.1 billion, it’s mainly because of the MSCI rebalancing which resulted into a significant volume from select companies like Security Bank [Corp.] and there is also a huge cost on AEV (Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.) so the two companies resulted to about P4 billion,” said Lexter A. Azurin, senior equity analyst at AB Capital Securities, Inc.

However, in general, the main index still traded sideways due to the lack of catalysts, according to Mr. Azurin.

“The market is still stuck in neutral considering the short trading week,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel G. Lisbona said in a text message.

“We’re still within ghost month so I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re still seeing negative activity, excluding today,” AB Capital’s Mr. Azurin said on Thursday.

Sector counters were mixed. Mining and oil climbed 0.76% or 101.15 points to 13,253.94; financials rose 0.51% or 10.22 points to 1,988.64; and services went up 0.36% or 6.2 points to 1,721.09.

On the other hand, industrials dropped 0.27% to 29.96 points to 10,995.17; property fell 0.20% or 7.49 points to 3,720.80; and holding firms declined 0.17% or 14.04 points to 7,838.11.

Value turnover stood at P11.26 billion from Wednesday’s P5.87 billion, with 1.04 billion issues changing hands.

“Value turnover is significantly higher which is reflective of investor positioning ahead of inflation data out next week,” PNB Securities’ Mr. Lisbona said.

Advancers beat losers, 101 to 84, while 63 names were unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers with net purchases of P426.13 million, a reversal of Wednesday’s net selling worth P55.91 million.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets also edged up on Thursday, in line with Wall Street and broader Asia, as upbeat Chinese and US economic news boosted investor sentiment, even as tensions over North Korea stewed in the background.

For the month of August, the Chinese manufacturing sector clocked an unexpected growth, with the official Purchasing Managers’ Index released on Thursday standing at 51.7, up from the previous month’s 51.4.

The US Commerce Department said on Wednesday that its second estimate of gross domestic product showed that the economy grew at an annual 3% in the second quarter, the quickest in more than two years. — JCL with Reuters