THE LOCAL equities market closed the week in positive territory due to last minute bargain hunting after starting weak on Friday as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines and the rest of the world continue to rise.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 4.8 points or 0.07% to close at 6,197.38 while the broader all-shares index increased 7.08 points or 0.19% to end at 3,652.6.

“The market ended sideways today, gaining just 4 points from yesterday’s (Thursday’s)close to end the week. The market was weaker in the early part of the session as sentiment was dampened by the apparent resurgence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the United States,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said in a text message.

As of June 10, the total number of COVID-19 cases globally is at almost 12.27 million, with the United States having the highest confirmed cases at 3.12 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 dashboard.

Back home, the Department of Health (DoH) on Thursday reported 1,395 new cases that brought the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 51,754.

Meanwhile, Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said the market ended higher due to last minute bargain hunting led by the rally of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH), San Miguel Corp. (SMC), and First Gen Corp. (FGEN)

On Friday, SMPH stocks rose P1.40 or 4.59% to end at P31.90 per share, while SMC shares went up 4% or P4.00 to close at P104 apiece, and FGEN shares improved P0.95 or 3.96% to end at P24.95 per piece.

“Aside from rising COVID-19 cases globally and locally, investors braced themselves for the second quarter economic data that are coming out which already anticipated to be dismal,” Ms. Alviar said in a text message.

For Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading and Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan, the market’s slight increase may be due to investors reacting to the announcement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte that the country’s economy will be gradually opened.

“On one end market participants are bullish, but on the other side, there are bearish investors who fear that the country may revert back to stricter quarantine measures if the rise on COVID-19 cases continue,” Mr. Pangan said in a text message.

More than half of the sectoral indices declined on Friday’s close.

Mining and oil fell 147.02 points or 2.68% to 5,334.06; financials retreated 4.57 points or 0.37% to 1,221.74; services shrank 4.21 points or 0.29% to 1,435.47; and holding firms went down 9.13 points or 0.14% to 6,529.26.

On the other hand, property rose 27.24 points or 0.92% to 2,981.19 and industrials climbed 16.88 points or 0.22% to 7,661.54.

Decliners outpaced advancers 115 to 82 while 47 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover stood at P5.17 billion with 2.26 billion issues switching hands, higher than P5.09 billion with 1.42 billion issues on Thursday.

Net foreign selling was also higher at P1.41 billion, compared to P649.66 million the previous day.

Mr. Lisbona said that after being tested several times, the market is seen to remain at the 6,130 support level.

“Absent any shocks, we are looking at the market to trade between 6,130 and 6,400 in the coming sessions,” Mr. Lisbona said.

“We’ll have to see next week if the base formed above the 6,000 area holds,” Timson’s Mr. Pangan said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave