PROFIT TAKING got in the way of what was looking to be another closing high for the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Thursday, but the momentum stays and can propel local equities’ further ascent, analysts said.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) breached the 8,300 level and rose to a fresh all-time intraday high of 8,321.81 on September 21, 2017. — PSE

After rising by more than 1% in early afternoon trading, the PSEi settled with a 67.54-point gain or 0.82% to close at 8,286.86, a few points away from its all-time high of 8,294.14 logged on Monday.

The all shares index climbed 30.96 points or 0.63% to 4,885.

“[It’s just profit taking, but the trend is unmistakably up,” said Miko S. Sayo, trader at Angping & Associates Securities, Inc.

Harry G. Liu, president of Summit Securities, Inc., said he was not seeing any factor that could block the main index’s rise. 

“The investing public is showing confidence,” he said, adding the PSEi’s “measured move” was an indication of a likely takeoff.

During yesterday’s session, the PSEi breached the 8,300 level and hit a new all-time intraday high of 8,321.81. The PSE noted that the index had gained 21.1% since the start of the year.

“I think 10,000 is good target to reach,” Mr. Liu said, adding that the level is “noticeable” and a “technical possibility.” He said 8,300 or 8,400 could be hit with the presence of a positive impetus, as he was not seeing any long-term problem that would be a cause for worry.

He said the protest movements during yesterday’s 45th anniversary of the martial law declaration in 1972 had not caused disruption in the stock and currency markets.

Mr. Liu added that the 10,000 level could be reached in a year or two, as technical charts show a line steadily moving upwards.

“Technicals move only with fundamentals behind it. Technicals move ahead of fundamentals,” he said. “Market buys on anticipation of profit.”

All sectors finished in the green. Holding firms led the rise with a 103.64-point climb or 1.27% to finish at 8,246.46. Industrials closed higher by 111.42 points or 0.98% to 11,452.58; services rose by 11.42 points or 0.66% to 1,731.62; the mining and oil index gained 58.47 points or 0.42% to close at 13,984.75; financials advanced by 4.56 points or 0.23% to 1,987.42; while property stocks moved up by 2.09 points or 0.05% to finish at 3,969.12.

Advancers outnumbered decliners at 107 to 95, while 54 issues closed unchanged. Trading value was at P7.96 billion, up from P7.09 billion the other day, with 1.7 billion shares changing hands.

Foreigners were net buyers at P222.18 million, down from the other day’s P380.43 million.

Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve announced a plan to start shrinking its balance sheet and signaled one more rate hike later this year.

As expected, the Fed said it would begin to trim its massive holding of US Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities acquired in the years after the 2008 financial crisis.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4%. — V.V. Saulon with Reuters