PH stocks trade sideways after Aquino defends DAP

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PHILIPPINE shares barely budged on Tuesday as risk-averse investors stayed on the sidelines following President Benigno Aquino’s speech the previous night defending his Administration’s controversial spending program which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.

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Political observers said Aquino’s statement questioning the SC’s ruling could lead to an unsettling conflict between the government’s executive branch and the judiciary.

Accord Capital Equities, Corp. analyst Justino Calaycay said investors stayed away from the market as the balance tilts toward risk aversion.

“A 111-point rebound in US stocks overnight and strong moves in major East Asian markets failed to rub off on the locals,” Calaycay said.

“With the mix of expectations tempering the near-term outlook, the market may be kept within a tight trading band unless more compelling reasons surface overnight,” he added.

At the close of trade on Tuesday, the benchmark index was marginally higher but the wider all shares was slightly lower and decliners outpaced gainers nearly two to one. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 3.67 points or 0.05 percent to 6,834.04, while the wider all shares slipped 2.02 points drop or 0.05 percent to 4,100.61.

“On a good note, the PSEi has been able to hold support at the 6,790 to 6,800 [levels], so far managing to hold off the bears at 6,820,” Calaycay noted. He said the situation appears to remain fluid as investors await more convincing and encouraging leads.

The sectoral indices ended mixed. Mining and oil rose 101.33 points or 0.62 percent to 16,487.46, followed by holding firms, which went up by 13.66 points or 0.22 percent to 6,151.63. Financials were little changed, up by just 1.06 points or 0.07 percent to 1,643.78.

Industrial firms lost 29.80 points or 0.29 percent to 10,310.90, while properties dipped 1.50 points or 0.06 percent to 2,617.09. Services likewise slipped, down 1.33 points or 0.06 percent at 2,068.80.

Market participation thinned with only 1.4 billion shares worth P5.7 billion changing hands. Decliners beat advancers 114 to 65, while 45 issues were unchanged.

Some of the most actively traded stocks were Ayala Corp., down 0.54 percent at P643.00; LT Group Inc., up 3.79 percent at P15.88; BDO Unibank Inc., up 0.50 percent at P90.55; Ayala Land Inc., unchanged at P30.90; Alliance Global Group Inc., up 0.90 percent at P28.10; and Nickel Asia Corp., up 5.03 percent at P35.50.

Nickel Asia’s shares surged after the company reported to the stock exchange on Tuesday that its shipment volume climbed 117 percent during the first half of the year.

On Monday, the market extended its losses as caution set in ahead of the traditional Chinese “ghost month” when trading volume turns thin. The PSEi fell 70.72 points or 1.03 percent to 6,830.37, while the wider all shares retreated 33.87 points or 0.82 percent to 4,102.63.

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