STOCKS ended lower on Friday on negative US data and news of fresh stimulus to boost the world’s largest economy.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slid 34.69 points or 0.47% to end at 7,238.46 on Friday while the broader all shares index declined 8.46 points or 0.19% to close at 4,342.48.

“Local shares closed lower as investors digested the biggest jobless claims surge since March last year, outweighing the unveiling of [US President-elect Joe] Biden’s stimulus plan. Initial jobless claims surged more than expected to 965,000 for the week ended Jan. 9,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said on Viber.

PNB Securities Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said the local market ended marginally lower this week while the region’s bourses closed mixed.

“(They) seemed to have largely shrugged off the announcement of a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan by US President elect Joe Biden,” Mr. Lisbona said in a text message.

“It seems to me that investors continue to be wary of the inflationary implications of continued stimulus not just by the US but also other governments as they struggle with mitigating the effects of the pandemic,” he added.

Majority of sectoral indices ended Friday’s session with losses. Financials decreased by 10.94 points or 0.72% to 1,495.45; holding firms shed 48.66 points or 0.65% to 7,371.35; property inched down by 18 points or 0.48% to 3,694.82; and industrials declined by 20.83 points or 0.21% to 9,479.01.

Meanwhile, mining and oil rose by 140.12 points or 1.42% to 9,948.66 and services improved 5.71 points or 0.36% to 1,558.56.

Value turnover stood at P11.03 billion with 147.24 billion issues switching hands, higher than the previous session’s P10.96 billion with 30.09 billion issues.

Advancers led decliners, 120 versus 103, while 42 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling reached P423.29 million on Friday, a turnaround from the net inflows worth P242.46 million seen on Thursday.

Mr. Lisbona noted that investors have grown “weary” of the pandemic and were looking for other catalysts to take on risk, as the market has stayed above the psychological support level of 7,000.

“Support is pegged at 7,070 and if the market should break below that, 6,800 will be the next key support level. The index will likely consolidate between 7,000 and 7,432 if there are no new positive developments,” he said. — A.Y. Yang