Stocks end three-day gains, declines 1.16%

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THE LOCAL market fell 1.16% on Friday, ending three consecutive days of gains as worries from investors continue while the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remains.

At the end of the trading week, the 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 65.3 points to finish at 5,539.19 while the broader all shares index went down 0.74% or 24.98 points to close at 3,349.98.

In a text message, PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said the market had been consolidating for almost a month now because of the lack of fresh catalysts.

“Selling pressure from foreign participants seems to have eased as well with a daily average selling of P200 million versus P723 million in April. Year to date, the foreign investors have sold almost $1.2 billion worth of local equities,” Mr. Lisbona said.

In a text message, Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said that Friday’s trade declined as investors took their profit ahead of the long weekend.

Ms. Alviar added that the the Board of Investments (BoI) report of a 71% fall in pledged inflows in the first four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic has also weighed on the investor sentiments.

“It (BoI) approved P84.1 billion from January to April, lower than P286.7 billion in the same period last year. Given this, our country can’t seek additional help from foreign investments, for more economic activities and also for recovery, so reopening of the economy could be tougher,” Ms. Alviar added.

On Friday, all sectoral indices fell. Financials declined 1.85% or 20.79 points to 1,102.5; industrials shrank 0.57% or 42.56 points to 7,304.81; holding firms retreated 0.92% or 51.68 points to 5,540.44; property lost 1.25% or 35.4 points to 2,785.9; services shed 0.67% or 8.98 points to 1,322.13; mining and oil trimmed 1.41% or 64.22 points to 4,465.27.

Mr. Lisbona said that support for next week is seen at 5,400 while resistance at 5,600.

However, Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading and Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan disagreed and said that support may be pegged at the 5,500 area while the nearest resistance is at the critical 6,000 level.

Decliners bested advancers 125 to 49, while 44 names ended unchanged.

On Friday, net foreign selling increased to P742.14 million, about six times more than the P121.72 million recorded in the previous day.

“As the local market reopens on Tuesday next week, we look forward to the national government’s decision on whether the lockdown measures will be modified, lifted, or stay as is,” Mr. Pangan said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave