Bullish corporate earnings buoy shares

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Positive sentiment on corporate earnings results carried Wednesday’s trading session higher at the close, erasing the slightly negative effect of the President’s Statement of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.25 percent or 17.12 points to end at 6,867.59, while the wider All Shares index inched up 0.04 percent or 1.55 points at 4,110.43.

Justino Calaycay Jr. of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said the local shares rode with the “bulls” on corporate earnings released so far, instead of dwelling on pessimistic reactions to the SONA.

“Two things we learn from Wednesday’s action: the presence of the bulls as evidenced by an early advance to the 6900-mark; and an overhang of the pessimism from Monday’s pre-SONA fall as evidenced by the quick reversal of fortunes intra-day,” Calaycay said.

The SONA was judged by some investors as a disappointment, as the President mainly cited achievements of his administration for the past year in an emotional speech while leaving out more important political and economic issues to be addressed.

For the rest of the week, Calaycay said Philippine benchmark stocks should continue to move sideways on corporate earnings support.

“ . . . this continues to support our position that the market may continue to head in a sideways, range-bound movement with a creeping positive directional bias…as a result of the release of bulk of corporate earnings numbers for second quarter and first semester,” he said.

“As investors focus more on corporate earnings and shed some of the ‘fears,’ we may see the PSEi successfully breaking past and sustaining trades above 6,900, while support continues to hold at 6,830 to 6,850 range,” he added.

Sectoral indices were mixed on Wednesday, with services gaining 18.71 points or 0.89 percent to 2,111.01; financials were up 0.35 percent or 5.65 points to close at 1,633.98; while holding firms added 12.72 points or 0.21 percent to 6,178.24. Property declined by 0.33 percent or 8.36 points to 2,566.81; industrials dipped by 0.31 percent or 32.39 points to 10,469.66; and mining and oil decreased by 0.15 percent or 24.81 points to close at 16,609.87.

Universal Robina Corp. was the sole unchanged among the top 10 actively traded shares, closing at P163 per share. Active gainers include PLDT (up by 1.59 percent or P48 to close at P3,070), SM Investments Corp. (up by 0.13 percent or P1 to P798) and Alliance Global Group Inc. (up by 0.97 percent or P0.25 to P26.10).

Losers were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (down by 0.41 percent or P0.35 to end at P85.30), Megaworld Corp. (down by 2.82 percent or P0.12 to P4.14) and SM Prime Holdings Inc (down by 1.14 percent or P0.18 cents to P15.58).

For today’s trading, Calaycay said the market will likely take cues from the overnight US Federal Reserve post-meeting conference, as well as the Philippine central bank’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) fifth Monetary Board meeting for the year, which is expected to address local inflation rates.

On Monday, the PSEi slipped as it took cues from overseas markets and investors waited on the sidelines for the President’s SONA to finish. The PSEi was down by 0.57 percent or 39.08 points to 6,850.47, while the broader All Shares also slipped by 0.51 percent or 21.01 points to close at 4,108.88. The market was closed Tuesday to mark the Eid’l Fitr holiday.

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