• Stocks to consolidate with upward bias

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    Since no particular market-moving news is anticipated, Philippine shares may continue to consolidate on an upward bias the same way it did last week.

    Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance managing director, said in a phone interview over the weekend that the market is not looking at any particular major news that can be a boost for equities this coming week.

    “Next week, no major news is expected so the market will remain just in consolidation mode but in upward bias,” he added.

    “We may try to test 6,000-[point]level. So far, the market is up week-on-week and currently on base-building mode,” he added, adding that other participants will also try to position ahead of the gross domestic product growth figures for 2013.

    On Friday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed the week at 5,897.24 points, swaying between gains and losses through the morning session, before mustering enough strength to break into the 6,000-point line for the first time this year. But the PSEi failed to draw sufficient momentum to sustain the breach toward the final bell.

    “An extended decline in US stocks and the prospect of a slower Chinese economy threatened to keep optimism at bay and cap local shares’ two-session advance. Sentiments turned positive in the afternoon, with the index posting its best weekly return in nearly four months,” Jun Calaycay, Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst, said.

    Hans Sicat, Philippine Stock Exchange president and chief executive officer, said that for the first trading days of the year, the index started off “with the usual lukewarm type thing.”

    “Hopefully, there is more fundraising in the next few weeks and more activity. But I think we should find continuous activity, improving market volumes in the next few weeks,” he added.

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