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PSEi ends nearly flat amid lack of leads

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THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE index (PSEi) managed to stage a last-minute rally on Friday to edge up from the past week, enabling the local benchmark to stay in step with several Asian peers.

Wall Street was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

PSEi climbed 21.88 points or 0.26% to close 8,365.11 — and up 0.65% from its 8,311.08 finish last Nov. 17 — while the all-shares index edged up by 5.75 points or 0.11% to end 4,889.12.

Even as earlier trading saw most of the six sectoral indices with losses, Friday ended with only two in negative territory.

Foreigners remained largely sellers for the fourth straight day, with Friday recorded the biggest net sales in that period.

“The PSEi traded in the red for most of the session. Thankfully, buying at the close lifted the index to 8,365.11…” RCBC Securities, Inc. said in a Stock Market Weekend Recap report attributed to research analyst Benjamin Ngan.

Luis A. Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a mobile phone message that investors scrounging for any market-moving news may have taken into consideration the European Central Bank’s release of minutes of its Oct. 26 meeting showing broad agreement on extending their asset purchases for nine months — while halving them — as part of policy normalization in the face of economic growth that has been picking up and anaemic inflation.

“The market still continues its consolidation,” Harry G. Liu, president at Summit Securities, Inc., said in a telephone interview.

“Unless there is a catalyst, it should be continuing its sideways behavior.”

A number of other bourses in Asia ended with gains, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and TOPIX Index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, the Shanghai-Shenzhen CSI 300 and the MSCI AC Asia Pacific edging up 0.12%, 0.20%, 0.53%, 0.04% and 0.02%, respectively.

On the other hand, South Korea’s KOSPI index, the Straits Times Index and the S&P/ASX 200 index saw declines of 0.07%, 0.20% and 0.06%, respectively.

Four of the local bourse’s six sectoral indices managed to end the day with gains, though relatively flat from Thursday: property by 32.91 points or 0.84% to close 3,919.2, holding firms by 17.14 points or 0.2% to 8,492.27, financials by 15.5 points or 0.74% to 2,107.4 and industrials by 7.87 points or 0.07% to finish 10,967.33.

On the other hand, mining and oil dropped 141.82 points or 1.17% to finish 11,972.5 while services gave up 15.15 points or 0.92% to end 1,630.58.

Trading volume amounted to 1.802 billion shares worth P9.111 billion compared to Thursday’s 2.485 billion shares worth P4.41 billion.

Stocks that declined outnumbered those that advanced 102 to 87, while 52 others were unchanged.

Friday’s list of 20 most actively traded stocks saw Ayala Land, Inc. (up 3.73% to P44.50 apiece); Bank of the Philippine Islands (2.77% to P103.90); Jollibee Foods Corp. (1.73% to P258.40) and SM Investments Corp. (1.13% to P983.50 each) leading those that gained.

A day after Malacañang announced it has zeroed in on eight economic sectors and activities in its bid to open up the economy further to foreigners — including public utilities like telecommunications — Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT, Inc. led stocks that lost, by 4.81% to P1,780 apiece by 3.23% to P1,586 each, respectively.

RCBC Securities noted in its report that Globe and PLDT, as well as Robinsons Land Corp. (down 14.63% to P21 apiece) and parent JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (down 1.39% to P71 each) “jointly took 35.79 points from the index”.

Foreigners remained predominantly sellers for a fourth straight day, with Friday recording P461.278-million net sales that was the biggest amount in that period. — with inputs from P. P. C. Marcelo