Shares end higher on US retail data, Brexit deal

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SHARES firmed up on Tuesday, tracking global indices’ performance as better retail earnings in the United States boosted sentiment.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 0.5% or 38.82 points to close at 7,747.54. The broader all-shares index likewise rose 0.32% or 15.62 points to 4,795.80.

“Foreign markets were up overnight as British Prime Minister Theresa May secured last minute support from the EU before the crucial Brexit voting today. US market was also up after a better than expected January retail earnings report boosted investor confidence,” Unicapital Securities, Inc. Technical Analyst Cristopher Adrian T. San Pedro said via text on Tuesday.

The US Commerce department reported that January retail sales rose by 0.2% in January, recovering from the weakness seen in December that was further revised lower to 1.6%, compared to 1.2% as initially reported.

“The stronger US retail sales helped sentiment. Overall volume was decent as investors bought back into the market after several days of minor consolidation,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

With this, Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a five-day losing streak on Monday, bouncing back 0.79% or 200.64 points to close at 25,650.88. The S&P 500 index jumped 1.47% or 40.23 points to 2,783.30, while the Nasdaq Composite index soared 2.02% or 149.92 points to 7,558.06.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets rallied on Tuesday, with Singapore leading gains, as sentiment across broader Asia lifted after the European Commission agreed to changes in a Brexit deal, boosting appetite for riskier assets.

Unicapital’s Mr. San Pedro also noted that investors reacted to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno’s remarks on the possible easing of the reserve requirement ratio for banks by one percent every quarter for the next four quarters.

“On a technical note, the index will continue to range between 7,700 support and 8,000 resistance in the short term. A bearish scenario to test 7,500 and 7,350 support levels will occur if the index fails to stabilize above 7,700,” Mr. San Pedro said.

Four sectoral indices ended the day with gains, led by services which jumped 1.48% or 22.90 points to 1,568.60. Industrials followed with an uptick of 1.02% or 116.43 points to 11,521.41. Holding firms went up 0.9% or 69.44 points to 7,750.16, while financials edged higher by 0.8% or 13.94 points to 1,749.41.

Meanwhile, property dropped 1.52% or 60 points to 3,882.57 and mining and oil gave up 0.65% or 52.46 points to 7,950.47.

Turnover picked up slightly to P5.70 billion after some 1.68 billion issues switched hands, versus the previous session’s P5.48 billion.

Decliners trumped advancers, 108 versus 83, while 56 ended flat.

Net foreign outflows persisted, rising to P348.84 million compared to Monday’s P273.48 million. — Arra B. Francia