By Arra B. Francia
THE MAIN INDEX managed to end in positive territory last week amid sideways trading for most of the period as investors awaited the release of more corporate earnings.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.38% or 30.83 points to close at 7,962.13 on Friday.
On a weekly basis, the PSEi firmed up 0.67% or 53.24 points, supported by industrials’ 1.93% increase amid financials’ 1.8% plunge. The main index was also seen to trade within a much tighter range of 7,830 to 7,964, with a variance of 134 points, compared to the previous week’s 7,889 to 8,105, with a variance of 216 points.
Foreign buying averaged at P178 million last week on the back of an average value turnover of P8 billion.
“Here at the PSE, the main index ends the week flat as the investor sentiment remains cautious and as investors wait for more earnings reports to come in,” Eagle Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in a weekly market report.
“It basically continued its negative momentum from last week and if not for the bounce that we saw on Wednesday, it would have ended the week with losses.”
For online brokerage, the PSEi’s ascent was due to developments in the trade war between the United States and China.
“The market closed the week on the plus side, as hopes were kept afloat by positive hints on US-China trade discussion,” said in a weekly market note.
Investors have been closely watching the developments between US and Chinese officials to see whether they could arrive at a trade deal before their 90-day truce expires on March 1. US and Chinese negotiators held a two-day meeting in Washington from Thursday to Friday to arrive at a deal.
Reports over the weekend noted that Chinese negotiators had agreed to extend their stay in the US capital, with a statement from both parties saying there was progress in the negotiations.
While the US had initially threatened to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% if they fail to agree on a deal by March 1, US President Donald J. Trump recently said he may not impose the increase on the said date.
Optimism on the trade deal propped up global equities markets abroad. Wall Street’s major indices were up on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 0.7% higher or 181.18 points to 26,031.81. The S&P 500 index rose 0.64% or 17.79 points to 2,792.67, while the Nasdaq Composite index jumped 0.91% or 67.84 points to 7,527.55.
Local financial markets are closed on Monday to commemorate the EDSA People Power Revolution.