December 11, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Stocks inch up as investors rebalance holdings

PHILIPPINE STOCKS traded flat on Thursday as investors opted to stay on the sidelines and amid window-dressing activities among corporate managers to end the first quarter of the year.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index inched up by 0.11% or 8.59 points to 7,332.59. The broader all-shares index increased 0.16% or 7.35 points to 4,411.65.

“I think it’s rebalancing of funds ahead of possible window dressing tomorrow e.g. investor bought back JFC, a stock that have been oversold,” said Joylin F. Telagen, equity research analyst at IB Gimenez Securities, Inc., in a text message on Thursday, referring to Jollibee Foods Corp. by its ticker symbol.

JFC shares closed at P194.50 apiece yesterday, gaining P6.50 or 3.46%.

Ms. Telagen noted that the United Kingdom’s triggering of its exit from the European Union did not significantly impact local equities.

“The Philippine stock market had another flat trading performance with US stocks closing narrowly mixed as the Dow lost ground for a ninth day in ten and the Nasdaq climbed for a fourth consecutive session,” Luis A. Limlingan,

managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a text message yesterday.

The analyst noted that energy stocks drove US market up as crude rallied 2% while health care flat-lined amid talk that House Republicans are set to consider a new health legislation next week.

The benchmark S&P 500 edged up on Wednesday as the stronger energy sector offset declines in financial shares and investors began looking ahead to first-quarter earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower, falling for the ninth session out of the past 10.

Investors have been assessing what the Republicans’ failure to pass a health care bill means for tax reform and the rest of President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, hopes for which have helped drive stocks to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 42.18 points, or 0.20%, to 20,659.32, the S&P 500 gained 2.56 points, or 0.11%, to 2,361.13 and the Nasdaq Composite added 22.41 points, or 0.38%, to 5,897.55.

Locally, the industrial counter rose 1.08% or 118.07 points to 10,961.63; mining and oil climbed 0.54% or 65.44 points or 12,028.29; services went up 0.11% or 1.77 points to 1,531.95; and holding firms inched up 0.26 point to 10,961.63.

Meanwhile, property fell 0.33% or 10.69 points to 3,159.60 and financials declined by 0.15 point to 1,824.29.

Value turnover dropped to P7.64 billion as 864.73 million shares changed hands, from Wednesday’s P14.29-billion worth.

Decliners narrowly beat advancers, 92 to 91, while 49 names closed flat.

Net foreign selling thinned to P179.43 million yesterday from the previous session’s P6 billion.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets likewise moved sideways on Thursday in thin trading in the absence of market-moving macroeconomic triggers. -- with Reuters