• PSEi tests 7,100 points, ends at 14-month high

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    Pausing at the 7,100-mark at noon, local equities eased in afternoon trading but still rose for the third time this week, closing at a 14-month high on gains of blue chip companies and the positive finish on Wall Street overnight.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed up 13.74 points or 0.19 percent at 7,096.49, while the broader All Shares index advanced 2.86 points or 0.07 percent to close at 4,200.49.

    The benchmark index’s all-time high was recorded on May 15, 2013, when the market closed at 7,392.20 after reaching an intraday high of 7,403.65. Wednesday’s close was the highest since May 29 of last year, when the PSEi reached 7,228.57.

    Despite the supposed “medium term consolidation” that had been expected this week, the market has advanced since Monday behind positive earnings performance of listed companies and upbeat international markets.

    Eduardo Francisco, president of BDO Capital & Investment Corp., said in a phone interview that Wednesday’s trade was driven by the gains of blue chip companies.

    “[The gains were] selected. It is [because of]the big companies like Ayala Land Inc. [ALI], PLDT. They are the market advancers,” Francisco said.

    PLDT and ALI both gained on the day, with PLDT adding P52 or 1.6 percent to close at P3,302 per share, and ALI improving by 0.6 percent or P0.20 at P33.35. Other actively traded issues ending the day in positive territory included Energy Development Corp. (EDC), up P0.30 or 4.44 percent at P7.05, and Ayala Corp. (AC), which picked up 0.49 percent or P3.50 per share to close at P722.50.

    Other than PLDT, ALI, AC, and EDC, the rest of the most-actively traded stocks were down at the closing bell. Losers include Alliance Global Group Inc., which shed 3.58 percent or P0.90 to finish at P24.25 per share; BDO Unibank Inc., declining 0.33 percent or P0.30 to P91.50; and Megaworld Corp., which closed at P4.19 per share after decreasing 2.33 percent or P0.10. Other decliners included Petron Corp., Puregold Price Club Inc., and Metrobank.

    Among the sector counters, only holding firms and mining and oil declined: holding firms down 0.51 percent or 31.82 points at 6,218.29, while mining and oil slipped 0.64 percent or 111.48 points to close at 17,371.31. Financials were up 0.14 percent or 2.36 points at 1,645.99; industrials rose 0.86 percent or 93.65 points to reach 10,953.21; services finished 1.06 percent or 23.10 points ahead at 2,203.13; and property increased 0.20 percent or 5.29 points to finish at 2,693.92.

    Gainers outnumbered losers, 93 to 79, while 42 issues were unchanged. Total volume was at 1.395 billion shares, while value turnover was at P10.8 billion.

    F. Yap Securities’ Jason Escartin suggested the market was influenced by optimism across overseas markets.

    “Re-affirmation of continued dialogues that could help douse conflicts in the region [were]the carrying theme for investors, as sentiment is likely swayed by events overseas,” Escartin said.

    Overnight, all three Wall Street indexes improved, with the Dow Jones up 0.48 percent, S&P 500 gaining 0.50 percent, and the Nasdaq registering a 0.43-percent advance.

    “If this trend is maintained, there might be possibilities to support the local market’s upswing, possibly above 7,100, on second half prospects [within the year],” Escartin said.

    The market is suspended today (August 21) in observance of Ninoy Aquino Day, and on Monday next week (August 25) for the National Heroes’ Day celebration.

    Francisco said that the resumption of trading on Friday will likely accelerate profit taking, which could lead to a negative market on the week’s last trading day.

    “It is holiday [today], and on Friday, the market will resume. Monday is a holiday, so I think there might be profit taking on Friday in view of the holiday on Monday. The market may dip on Friday,” he said.

    Escartin said the support level is at 7,040, while resistance is at 7,100 to 7,120.

    On Monday, the PSEi broke the 7,050 resistance level as it rose by 0.79 percent or 55.17 points to close at 7,082.75. The broader All Shares index closed up 0.62 percent or 25.91 points at 4,197.63.

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