PHILIPPINE SHARES ended in positive territory on Tuesday on last-minute bargain hunting and as investor sentiment got a boost from data showing that inflation slowed further last month.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 24.58 points or 0.39% to close at 6,308.95 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index climbed by 4.58 points or 0.13% to finish at 3,352.02. 

“Stocks went up on a last-minute surge, driven by the better inflation numbers for November,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said in a Viber message. 

“The main index initially encountered resistance at the 6,300 level before ending the day on a positive note,” he added.

The market closed higher on last-minute bargain hunting amid slower November inflation, Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research and Engagement Officer Mikhail Philippe Q. Plopenio likewise said in a Viber message.

“The local bourse was in the red territory for the most part of the day before a last-minute push from the buyers ended the session above the 6,300 level,” he added.

Headline inflation slowed to a 4.1% in November from 4.9% in October and 8% in November 2022, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on Tuesday showed. This was the lowest rate seen since March 2022’s 4%.

This was near the lower end of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 4-4.8% estimate for the month and was below the 4.4% median estimate of 15 economists in a BusinessWorld poll conducted last week.

For the first 11 months, inflation averaged 6.2%, faster than the 5.6% in the same period last year and still well above the BSP’s 2-4% target and 6% baseline forecast for 2023.

Sectoral indices were mixed on Tuesday. Services rose by 24.45 points or 1.6% to 1,548.31; property increased by 14.36 points or 0.52% to 2,765.88; and holding firms climbed by 11.29 points or 0.19% to 5,960.34. 

On the other hand, mining and oil fell by 100.61 points or 1.02% to 9,752.77; financials dropped by 3.95 points or 0.22% to 1,747.83; and industrials retreated by 2.11 points or 0.02% to 8,829.05.   

Value turnover climbed to P4.01 billion on Tuesday with 622.4 million issues changing hands from the P3.77 billion with 446.56 million shares logged the previous trading day.

“Among the index members, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. was at the top, climbing 4% to P228.80. Nickel Asia Corp. lost the most, dropping 2.65% to P5.14,” Mr. Plopenio said.   

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 94 versus 82, while 41 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling stood at P182.43 million on Tuesday versus the P287.54 million in net buying recorded on Monday.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort put the PSEi’s immediate major support at 6,080-6,120 and resistance at the 6,300 level. — R.M.D. Ochave