• PSEi breaks 5-day fall, gains in Fed move guessing game

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    PHILIPPINE stocks traded higher on Tuesday, ending five straight days of losses since last week, as investors opted to hunt for bargains among oversold issues.

    Trading was volatile, with the benchmark index moving from positive to negative territory and back again amid uncertainty on whether the US Federal Reserve will decide to raise interest rates sooner than expected at its two-day policy meeting this week.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) advanced 19.07 points or 0.27 percent to 7,180.34, while the All Shares index added 14.83 points or 0.35 percent to 4,254.47.

    Justino Calaycay Jr., analyst at Accord Capital Equities Corp., said the local market outperformed most Asian markets, which ended lower.

    “Philippine share prices straddled yesterday’s closing line, rising and falling by no more than 10 points in morning trade. Positive momentum crept in gradually in post-break afternoon trades, pushing the measure past the day’s upside band limit,” he said.

    Calaycay said investors mostly played “guessing games” ahead of the US Fed meeting, focusing more on “forward guidance” on the timing of a possible hike in interest rates.

    “Several analysts foresee increased volatility during the period of transition from the phase-out of the third quantitative easing and the eventual interest rate adjustment,” he said.

    “Futures indexes in Europe and the US are not encouraging, with investors generally expected to keep to the sidelines as the Fed meeting progresses,” Calaycay added.

    Jason Escartin of F. Yap Securities Inc. said the market rebound was also attributed to some investors positioning for “year-end window dressing.”

    He said the market’s support level held at 7,100 points as some investors built up their portfolios ahead of the year-end window-dressing.

    Escartin sees immediate support at 7,150 points and resistance at 7,180-7,190 going into midweek trades.

    Except for holding firms which moved sideways, the rest of the sectoral indices were up.  Mining and oil led the market rebound, gaining 218.48 points or 1.23 percent to 17,951.95, while financials went up 12.27 points or 0.73 percent to 1,691.51.

    Industrials advanced 43.20 points or 0.39 percent  to 11,132.19, services gained 7.69 points or 0.35 percent to 2,219.68, while property inched up 17.94 points or 0.66 percent to 2,726.09

    Bucking the trend, holding firms dipped 3.07 points or 0.05 percent to 6,293.33.
    Of the top-traded stocks, the biggest losers were Universal Robina Corp., down 1.20 percent or P2.10 to P173.50 per share; SM Investments Corp., down 0.06 percent or 50 cents at P801 apiece; and Alliance Global Group Inc., down 0.41 percent or 10 cents at P24.45 each.

    The top gainers were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Puregold Price Club Inc., Aboitiz Power Corp., Ayala Land Inc., BDO Unibank Inc., Ayala Corp. and APC Group Inc.

    Advancers outpaced decliners 101 to 70, while 52 shares did not move. Total volume traded was 2.243 billion shares worth P6.717 billion.

    On Monday, the PSEi lost 40.61 points or 0.56 percent to 7,161.27, while the All Shares slipped 20.05 points or 0.47 percent to 4,239.64.

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