December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PSEi ends flat on weak remittances, lack of leads

STOCKS traded flat on Tuesday, as investors digested weak remittance data for February and continued to search for positive leads.

The bellwether index eked out a 0.45-point gain to close at 7,588.98 on Tuesday.

The broader all-shares index also rose 0.14% or 6.34 points to end the day at 4,536.84.

“Locally, lack of catalysts today and weak remittances from [Monday],” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said when asked on the local factors that affected yesterday’s trading.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Monday showed cash remittances from overseas Filipino workers stood at $2.169 billion in February, matching January’s inflows. Still, the month’s total was higher by 3.4% from the $2.098 billion recorded in February 2016.

“Investors are also watching the talks given by the Duterte administration as well as this afternoon for more clues to how government will mobilize,” Mr. Limlingan added, referring to a forum hosted by the country’s economic managers yesterday.

“Philippines traded flat, failing to match their US counterparts, which broke a three-day losing streak ahead of US corporate earnings data this week, due to mounting tension between North Korea and the US,” Mr. Limlingan said.

US stocks bounced back on Monday after the S&P 500 closed the previous session at a two-month low, in a broad rally led by recently beaten-down bank and technology shares.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 183.67 points or 0.90% to 20,636.92, the S&P 500 gained 20.06 points or 0.86% to 2,349.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 51.64 points or 0.89% to 5,856.79.

Four sectoral counters ended in negative territory yesterday, but adjustments were minimal, reflecting the broader market’s movement. Financials fell 0.23% or 4.31 points to 1,873.42; mining and oil slipped 0.14% or 16.95 points to 12,083.21; services declined 0.01% or 0.28 point at 1,598.12, and industrials went down by 1.07 points to close at 11,298.

In contrast, the property and holding firms counters were up, rising 0.21% or 7.20 points to 3,312.21 and 0.14% or 11.31 points to 7,681.95, respectively.

Value turnover climbed to P5.05 billion on Tuesday from the P4.38 billion seen the previous day, with 1.25 billion shares changing hands. Decliners beat advancers, 104 to 87, while 49 issues remained unchanged.

Foreign outflows persisted, with net foreign selling growing to P186.37 million yesterday from Monday’s P109.65 million.

Meanwhile, most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday, recovering from recent losses as investors moved past issues about North Korea and looked for triggers from local markets. -- A.B. Francia with Reuters