PSEi ends flat on holiday hangover

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Philippine shares closed Monday’s trade little changed, failing to quickly regain momentum in the face of global market uncertainty as the local bourse reopened after a holiday-shortened trading week last week.

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The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished down 0.07 percent or 5.56 points at 7,485.32, while the broader All Shares index gained 0.19 percent or 8.36 points at 4,384.61.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 93 to 85, while 42 issues were unchanged. Trade volume reached 2.34 billion, valued at P8.06 billion.

Many investors remained in a “holiday mode,” said Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance Inc. managing director.

Del Castillo pointed out that global uncertainty—resulting from the Swiss central bank’s removal of its currency cap, China’s fourth-quarter GDP growth slowdown to 7.7 percent from the preceding quarter’s 7.8 percent—also dampened trading.

But some stocks posted strong gains, with the most actively traded being MBT and SMPH, which rallied 2.24 percent and 4.92 percent, respectively. GTCAP rose 2.36 percent.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said SMPH drew support from positive news reports about its China malls and prospects for its Ortigas development plans.

Shares of GTCAP advanced on the company’s venture talks over the largest public-private partnership (PPP) project to date—the P123-billion ($2.8 billion) Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project, Limlingan added.

Sectoral indices were mixed: with Industrial, Holding Firms and Services down, while Financials, Property and Mining and Oil counters were up.

Del Castillo sees the PSEi being in a strong position to meet targets for full-year 2015.

On Wednesday, January 14, the last trading day before the Papal visit to the Philippines cut short the trading week, the PSEi hit all-time highs for both the intraday and closing levels.

The PSEi closed at 7,490.88, after touching an intraday record of 7,530.41.
That was the second time the index set all-time highs this year, with the first recorded on Jan 9 when the index finished at 7,402.72 after hitting 7,446.66 in intraday trade.

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