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Stocks snap losing streak on MSCI, easing tensions

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PSE BGC bells

THE MAIN INDEX snapped its three-day losing streak on Thursday, ending the month of May on a positive note, as investors focused on the MSCI rebalancing and easing geopolitical concerns.

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) firmed up 0.36% or 27.03 points to close at 7,497.17, although failing to bounce back to its previous support level of 7,500. The broader all-shares index also went up 0.37% or 16.98 points to 4,588.29.

“The PSEi ended the day with a P17.2-billion value turnover on the back of the MSCI rebalancing. A bulk of the trades actually happened at the close as value turnover was only around P5 billion at the 3PM mark,” Papa Securities Corp. Trader Gabriel F. Perez said in an e-mail.

First Grade Finance, Inc. President and Managing Director Astrolito Romulo C. del Castillo said the index followed the performance of international markets.

“The market was up given there was a bump in global markets. The uncertainty in Italy somehow dissipated but investors are still apprehensive,” Mr. Del Castillo said in a phone interview.

Italy — the third-largest economy in the European bloc — is currently headed toward a new elections, which investors worry could affect the European Union. Analysts are saying the worst case scenario would see Italy leaving the EU.

Mr. Del Castillo said investors are still apprehensive about Italy’s political commotion, the United States’ trade war with China and higher oil prices in the world market, which resulted in only a minimal increase Thursday, May 31.

Markets overseas rallied, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping 1.26% or 306.33 points to 24,667.78. The S&P 500 index gained 1.27% or 34.15 points to 2,724.01, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.89% or 65.86 points to 7,462.45.

Most Asian indices also ended in the green, mirroring the performance of its international counterparts.

Locally, the industrials sub-index was the lone sector that recorded losses, dropping 0.51% or 56.13 points to 10,757.91.

The mining and oil sector jumped 2.83% or 276.59 points to 10,021.60, followed by financials which gained 0.88% or 16.28 points to 1,866.66. Services rose 0.83% or 12.21 points to 1,481.31, while property picked up 0.60% or 22.55 points to 3,755.30. Holding firms added 0.18% or 13.52 points to 7,329.53.

Some 820.14 million issues switched hands, resulting in a value turnover of P17.24 billion, more than double the P7.36 billion seen in the previous session.

Index heavyweight SM Prime Holdings, Inc. was the most actively traded issue of the day, although its price ended flat at P37 each. Ayala Land, Inc. shed 1% to P39.80 each, while Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. slipped 2.78% to P57.80 each.

Advancers narrowly beat decliners, 102 to 101, while 41 issues were unchanged.

Net foreign outflows narrowed to P194.43 million from the P1.22 billion in net sales seen on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia