Stocks inch sideways on lack of fresh catalysts

stocks inch sideways on lack of fresh catalysts - Stocks inch sideways on lack of fresh catalysts

By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX ended mostly flat on Thursday but still closed in green territory, showing investors continue to tread cautiously while waiting for a strong market driver.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) increased 13.03 points or 0.22% to close at 5,938.33 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index climbed 5.53 points or 0.15% to end at 3,585.62.

“The local bourse was able to make gains in the session, but trading remained in sideways movement as investors are watching the developments over the 2021 national budget,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a text message.

The PSEi moved within a high of 5,950.50 and a low of 5,919.55 on Thursday, and has been closing with less than 1% movement since last Friday.

“This has been the trend for the last five trading days as it has seemed to have found an equilibrium between buying and selling,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an email.

“There’s still positive sentiment given the ongoing session for the budget, and investors are hopeful that it will be passed on time… But of course, we can’t avoid uncertainties, particularly after the tensions in the House of Representatives…,” Ms. Alviar said.

While waiting, investors have remained cautious and “can’t decide whether to go higher or lower,” Mr. Mangun said. “The minuscule gains was the result of advances in large-cap blue chips offsetting substantial losses in small to mid-cap issues.”

The market is also monitoring the daily coronavirus case count in the country, which has been slowing down in the past days, Ms. Alviar said. The Health department reported 1,910 new cases on Wednesday, the lowest daily increase in three weeks.

Most sectoral indices ended Thursday’s trading with gains. Mining and oil rose 106.86 points or 1.62% to 6,677.64; financials grew 6.90 points or 0.58% to 1,182.12; holding firms added 32.69 points or 0.53% to 6,126.36; and property climbed 2.49 points or 0.09% to 2,768.70.

On the other hand, services fell 3.10 points or 0.21% to 1,453.38, while industrials shed 11.26 points or 0.14% to 7,968.32 at the end of session.

Some 1.52 billion issues valued at P5.67 billion switched hands on Thursday, down from the previous day’s 2.8 billion issues worth P5.97 billion.

Advancers bested decliners, 104 against 80. Some 62 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling climbed to P902.75 million on Thursday from P619.22 million on Wednesday.

“Investors are looking to the economy’s recovery for a boost of confidence and if we do not see that soon, the market may go significantly lower,” Mr. Mangun said.

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