By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter
LOCAL SHARES closed higher on Tuesday over investor optimism that the current two-week lockdown will not be extended beyond Aug. 18.
The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed by 23.02 points or 0.38% to close at 5,953.94. The broader all shares index moved up 23.92 points or 0.68% to end at 3,537.29.
“The PSEi inched higher (on Tuesday) as investors drew optimism from President Duterte’s speech (on Monday) wherein he announced that the current (lockdown) on Metro Manila will not be extended to allow the economy to recover,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte in a televised speech on Monday night told healthcare workers he can no longer respond to requests for a lockdown as “funds are already depleted.”
“I can’t stop the public from going out anymore, because I don’t have money to provide for them. They need to go out to work,” he said in Filipino.
This means the stricter lockdown in Metro Manila and select areas — in place from Aug. 4-18 — is unlikely to be extended.
“(The PSEi rose) as investors look forward to the upcoming meeting of top trade officials between the US and China, set to happen this weekend,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren T. Pangan said in a text message.
In an interview with Xinhua news agency, China’s central bank governor said the country will uphold its commitment to the US for the “phase one” trade deal, despite the tarnished relationship of the two countries relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the remaining days of the week, we’ll have to see if the index revisits the 6,000 territory which most market participants see as a significant resistance area, otherwise 5,800 seems to be the nearest support area,” Mr. Pangan added.
Four of six sectoral indices ended Tuesday’s session with gains. Services rose 21.96 points or 1.52% to 1,459.08; holding firms improved 38.29 points or 0.63% to 6,114.85; property climbed 8.16 points or 0.28% to 2,892.28; and mining and oil picked up 1.71 points or 0.02% to 5,857.96.
On the other hand, financials lost 5.52 points or 0.49% to 1,110.13; and industrials slipped 3.45 points or 0.04% to 7,819.52 at the close of trading.
Value turnover on Tuesday stood at P5.07 billion with 5.31 billion issues switching hands, up from the previous day’s P4.88 billion with 82.96 billion issues.
Advancers outpaced decliners, 115 against 84, while 38 names ended unchanged.
Foreign investors remained sellers, but net outflows were trimmed to P377.14 million from P714.27 million the previous day.
“The general sentiment remains cautious as investors await monetary or fiscal policy adjustment from the central bank in next week’s meeting,” Mr. Mangun said.