Stocks up on window-dressing prospect

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Philippine stocks opened the week firmer as persistent buying interest found Wall Street’s gains on Friday and the prospect of an end-month rally on window-dressing something to hold on to in the absence of local news.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 22.11 points or 0.28 percent to close at 7,840.49 on Monday, while the wider All Shares added 8.47 points or 0.19 percent to 4,537.78.

“Attention shifts from the US to Europe to the fracas in the Middle East to China then back to the US, and the cycle goes on,” Justino Calaycay Jr. of Accord Capital Equities Corp. described the recent behavior of the market.

“At this time, investors are seemingly on neutral, undecided on when and what gear to push the level on,” Calaycay said. “Buyers are exercising patience in pricing their entry while sellers are holding on for just a bit longer.”

“Around the corner is a prospect of a rally on the basis of traditional end-quarter window dressing. Before that, the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] will decide on key interest rates where expectations are leaning toward a hold of current policy settings,” he added.

Investors also noted the US markets were positive on Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial posted a 168.62-point gain, the S&P 500 added 18.83 points, and the Nasdaq advanced 34.04 points.

Among the active stocks, SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Alliance Global Group Inc. ended flat, while Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, JG Summit Holdings Inc., and BDO Unibank Inc. advanced.

The industrial and property indices dropped, led by SM Investments Corp., GT Capital Holdings Inc., Megaworld Corp. and Universal Robina Corp.

Total volume reached 1.02 billion shares, valued at P8.82 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers 91 to 81, while 51 issues finished unchanged.

On Friday, the main PSEi closed 3.83 points or 0.05 percent higher at 7,818.38, while the All Shares index rose 8.53 points or 0.19 percent to 4,529.31.

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