• PSEi ekes out gain despite regional weakness


    LOCAL stocks squeezed out marginal gains on Monday thanks to a last-minute spurt of buying following reports that domestic inflation in September may have eased.

    The market was mostly in the red for most of the session, tracking regional weakness amid the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up 4.06 points or 0.06 percent to 7,265.36, while the All Shares index added 0.52 points or 0.01 percent to 4,301.97.

    Some financial firms in Hong Kong had to close for the day due to the protests, affecting early trades.

    Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance Inc., said in a phone interview that the market was mostly down on Monday due to the Hong Kong protests.

    “During morning trade, we were pulled down by concerns in Hong Kong. It tapered already by lunch as concerns dissipated on financial institutions in Hong Kong being opened,” del Castillo said.

    “Also, for the local scene, some reports of [September] inflation being below the present rates boosted the market. It caused sudden buying towards the end of the session,” he added.

    Jason Escartin, investment analyst at F. Yap Securities, said sentiment was underpinned by the “better-than-expected second-quarter US gross domestic product” and Wall Street’s rally on Friday.

    On Friday, the US Commerce Department said in its latest estimate that the US economy grew 4.6 percent in the second quarter, its fastest expansion in nearly three years. The GDP report lifted stocks on Wall Street: the Dow Jones added 167.35 points, the S&P 500 rose 16.86 points and Nasdaq was up 45.45 points.

    Escartin said he sees the market’s immediate support at 7,250, while resistance is at 7,300 to 7,310.

    Mining and oil and services were the only losers among the sectoral indices. Services lost 44.88 points or 2.06 percent to 2,132.83, while mining and oil declined 115.51 points or 0.65 percent to 17,564.51

    The rest were gainers: Financials went up 2.63 points or 0.16 percent to 1,696.60; industrials gained 170.57 points or 1.50 percent to 11,572.03; holding firms gained 47.43 points or 0.74 percent to 6,421.84; and property rose 4.12 points or 0.14 percent to 2,856.56.

    BDO Unibank Inc. and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. ended flat among the most active companies.

    The top losers were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (down 3.38 percent or P108 to end at P3,090 per share); Globe Telecom Inc. (down 5.61 percent or P99 to close at P1,667); and Premium Leisure Corp. (down 9.24 percent or 17 cents at P1.67).

    The major gainers were Universal Robina Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Ayala Land Inc., Energy Development Corp., and Megaworld Corp.

    Total volume traded was 6 billion shares, valued at P15.7 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 93 to 85, while 43 shares were unchanged.

    On Friday, the main index lost 32.91 points or 0.45 percent to 7,261.30, while the All Shares index fell 13.45 points or 0.31 percent to 4,301.45.


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