Clash of the bulls and the bears


    CORPORATE results are expected to set in motion a bullish trend for Philippine shares, but gains from an earnings play may not actually materialize light of the bearish sentiment elicited by the raging controversies from Washington’s protectionist policies.

    “A fresh batch of fourth quarter earnings results could prompt investors to reposition. However, further rash actions from the new US administration may rattle global markets anew,” RCBC Securities Inc. Head of Research and Vice President Jeremy Yumul said in a market note over the weekend.

    The travel ban issued by US President Donald Trump on immigrants, refugees and non-American US visa holders has stoked a wave of negative sentiment in the form of “political risk” in markets worldwide.

    Online brokerage firm 2TradeAsia.com said that political headlines are expected to remain a market-moving factor this week with investors wary of “sequel pronouncements” from Trump.

    “After the Fed decided to keep its key interest rate unchanged, succeeding monetary policies will depend on how Trump will address US economic growth through his administration’s fiscal expenditure program, as well as other matters that could affect trade and fund flows,” 2TradeAsia.com said.

    The brokerage also flagged “Brexit-related policies to surface” and weigh on the market.

    On the domestic front, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is holding its first policy meeting for 2017 on February 9. The direction of interest rates and likely the next BSP governor might crop up, with BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. ending his term at the end of June.

    The latest closure and suspension orders issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources against supposedly erring mining companies may also influence the market, especially if related market-depressing developments come about.

    “The central bank has underscored its inflation outlook, with estimates at 3.3 percent for the year. So far, Union Bank & Security Bank have released favorable earnings for 2016, and modest growth outlook is expected for 2017,” 2TradeAsia.com said.

    “This week, Globe Telecom Inc. is set to detail results mid-week, as well as Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc. Investors should go for defensive plays and continue to trade a range. The PSEi’s immediate support is 7,150, while resistance is at 7,300,” it added.

    On Friday, the main PSEi was basically flat, up by 0.01 percent or 0.79 points at 7,226.70. The All Shares declined by 0.21 percent or 9.32 points to 4,375.03.


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