Philippine shares fell after several days of gains, but managed to trim losses to less than a percent by the end of the session.
“Investors took a cue from overseas, where the US market recovered from an early loss to firm up at the close on encouraging news about the still recovering economy,” Accord Capital Equities, Corp. analyst Justino Calaycay said.
Overseas, European shares foundered on escalating violence in Ukraine and concerns over inflation, while Asian markets were mixed as trading remained generally light with a number of East Asian bourses on holiday in observance of Buddha’s birthday, Calaycay said.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended little changed, with a 0.01-percent loss, or 0.53 points to end at 6,765.93. The wider all shares index, which stayed in positive territory, closed up 4.67 points, or 0.11 percent at 4,076.30.
“The PSEI started off the session in negative territory but managed to climb to post thin gains at the noon recess. This was the pattern it followed through Monday’s session, and likewise, the Dow Jone’s pattern overnight,” Calaycay said.
“The index swung between thin gains and losses in post-noon trades, eventually closing just -0.53 points under. These movements are manifestations of investors trying to strike a balance between fears over external risks on one hand and the commencement of the first quarter 2014 earnings season on the other,” he added.
Except for financials, which shed 18.11 points, or 0.29 percent to 6,148.11, the rest of the sectors also managed to end higher. Mining and oil had the largest gain, improving by 160.05 points, or 1 percent to close at 16,213.27, followed by services, which added 6.27 points, or 0.30 percent to 2,059.13.
Property rose by 6.76 points, or 0.25 percent to 2,672.38, while financials gained 1.30 points, or 0.08 percent to 1,604.96. Industrial was flat, or up only by 3.63 points, or 0.04 percent at 10,109.66.
Trading was thin, with only 972.9 million shares worth P5.5 billion traded. Advancers still outnumbered decliners, 84 to 78, while 57 issues were unchanged.
Some of the most actively traded stocks were the newly listed Century Pacific Food Inc., up 10.63 percent at P15.20, BDO Unibank Inc., down 0.34 percent at P88.20, Security Bank Corp., lower by 0.16 percent at P123, International Container Terminal Services Inc., unchanged at P113.30, and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., up 0.07 percent at P2,892.
Century Pacific, which is the second company to do its initial public offering (IPO) this year, saw its shares rising to P15.50 from its P1.46 IPO price during its market debut on Tuesday.
“Unlike DD [DoubleDragon Properties Corporation], which opened at 20 percent above its offer price, Century Pacific jumped only 12.72 percent to P15.50, ran up to P16 before sellers entered the picture. These prices define the early trading support and resistance levels for the counter,” Calaycay said.
DoubleDragon Properties Corp. was the first to launch an IPO this year.