• Stocks grip record high

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    The Philippine stock market stood its ground against profit-takers in record territory amid a lack of fresh leads, with sheer momentum from last week’s daily ascent carrying the benchmark index forward to a new closing high on Monday.

    After peaking at an intraday record at 7,854.80 points in the morning session, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) started shedding the gains to end little changed—up just 0.009 percent or 0.68 points—at 7,826.07, its highest close on record.

    It marked a fifth consecutive trading day of gains for the index and the 15th time it finished at an all-time high this year alone.

    The All Shares index dipped 0.06 percent or 2.87 points to 4,534.19.
    Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance Inc., described the market as overpowered by “momentum buyers,” people who stayed on despite the lack of news to anticipate the release of more positive corporate earnings results.

    The rise was “just less than a point. There is an indication that the market may (take profit again) in the coming days. The market was already overbought. We’re one of the most expensive in Asia,” del Castillo said, noting the change in trading mode after the main index pierced resistance at the record level in the morning session to set a new intraday high.

    “There was optimism—it was a tug of war between sellers and buyers. Basically, buyers were in because of good corporate earnings, but you can’t highlight that because of the less-than-a-point gain. It’s just momentum buying: the last few drops of momentum buying in the market,” he added.

    Monday’s new intraday record broke the previous 7,840.39 intraday peak touched on Feb 19, and 7,825.39 record finish on Feb 20.
    Gainers were led by the mining and oil sector, posting a 0.54 percent rise. Decliners were led by the services counter, with a 0.32 percent loss.

    Unioil Resources and Holdings Company Inc. and Island Information and Technology Inc. were major individual advancers—up 11.54 percent and 20.61 percent, respectively. Other individual gainers were Ayala Land Inc., Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and BDO Unibank Inc.
    Top decliners were Universal Robina Corp., Energy Development Corp., Ayala Corp., and SM Prime Holdings Inc.

    Trade volume reached 1.6 billion shares, valued at P5.44 billion, down from Friday’s 4.11 billion shares valued at P6.88 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 105 to 82, while 38 issues closed unchanged.

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