• Stocks recover on bargain-hunting

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    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed the week slightly higher as investors hunted for bargains among stocks that were hit hard by Thursday’s slump following the release of weaker-than-expected third quarter economic data.

    The PSEi was up 0.40 percent or 29.04 points at 7,294.38, while the wider All Shares index added 0.40 percent or 16.93 points to 4,296.90.

    Jason Escartin, investment analyst at F. Yap Securities Inc., said investors picked up bargain stocks after Thursday’s huge selloff following the announcement of a below consensus gross domestic product growth of 5.3 percent for the third quarter.

    “Yesterday’s sharp retreat prompted bargain hunters to shop for stocks that have weakened as disappointing third-quarter GDP is factored in,” Escartin said.

    The 5.3 percent third quarter GDP growth was the slowest in almost three years. It was lower than the 7 percent recorded in the third quarter last year and the 6.4 percent in second quarter this year.

    “Most have likely revisited 2015 prospects, specifically those on expansion mode and other merger-acquisition stories. Speculatives took the limelight, as crude futures and metal prices are likely to recover,” he said.

    Going forward, Escartin sees market support level at 7,250 points, while resistance is at 7,280 points to 7,300 points.

    For his part, Justino Calaycay Jr. of Accord Capital Equities said the market was up a bit on the forward-looking view of month-end window dressing and the opportunity to buy on the previous day’s major decline given the low GDP figures.

    “Friday’s trades were a combination of month-end window-dressing and a technical rebound off of the previous session’s fall,” he said.

    Among the market sectors, only properties slipped while the rest gained. Property stocks slipped 0.02 percent or 0.54 points to 2,829.87.

    Financials were up 0.23 percent or 4.01 points at 1,716.08; industrials rose 0.96 percent or 113.85 points to 11,929.73; holding firms advanced 0.33 percent or 21.11 points to 6,355.46; services rose by 0.57 percent or 12.21 points to 2,163.54; and mining and oil jumped 0.54 percent or 86.64 points to 16,068.06.

    PLDT ended flat among the actively traded while the rest were mixed. Active gainers included Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc., Ayala Corp., Metrobank, Universal Robina Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc. and DMCI Holdings Inc., while the top were BDO Unibank inc., Ayala Land Inc., and ABS-CBN Holdings Corp.

    Advancers outpaced decliners 106 to 76, while 49 issues were unchanged. Total volume traded was at 5.28 billion shares valued at P8.67 billion.

    On Thursday, the bellwether PSEi dropped by 1.24 percent or 91.25 points to 7,265.34, while the All Shares index lost 1.05 percent or 45.42 points to 4,279.97.

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