November 21, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PSEi up on bargain hunting ahead of GDP, IPOs

SHARE PRICES ended their two-day losing streak yesterday, as investors picked up some bargain stocks ahead of the release of Philippine first quarter economic growth data on Thursday.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index added 18.14 points or 0.23% to settle at 7,791.07 on Tuesday after moving between 7.789.13 and 7,840.68 during the session.

The all-shares index gained 9.98 points or 0.21% to 4,642.15.

“The market is sightly up still on the same situation, with no new developments on economic conditions or global events that would create panic,” Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu said via phone yesterday.

“Locally, the market is moving sideways... There’s preparation for the two IPOs (initial public offer) that would create a drain on the market. The GDP (gross domestic product) will also be in focus although the market is showing good signs since it is not panicking,” he added, referring to the upcoming market debuts of Eagle Cement Corp. and Cebu Landmasters, Inc. and the release of first quarter economic growth data tomorrow.

Bargain hunting and repositioning ahead of the first-quarter GDP report was also a push factor, he added.

“I would say this is a technical rebound,” said Joseph Y. Roxas, analyst at Eagle Equities, Inc.

“There was some selling recently because of the two big IPOs and I think that has already been absorbed by the markets and we are moving higher again,” Mr. Roxas said.

Most sectoral indices ended in negative territory yesterday except property, which posted a gain of 86.06 points or 2.47% to close at 3,561.89.

Services led losers, dropping 18.30 points or 1.12% to close at 1,605.33. Industrials went down 29.17 points or 0.26% to 10,963.23; financials gave up 3.80 points or 0.19% to 1,920.41; holding firms fell 10.36 points or 0.13% to 7,920.49; and mining and oil slipped by 13.96 points or 0.11% to 12,553.20.

“The economy moves to centerstage as we get closer to Thursday’s release of Q1 2017 GDP numbers,” Justino B. Calaycay, Jr., senior research analyst at Philstocks Financial, Inc., said.

“If we go by the way the market has moved in the first two sessions of the week, there doesn’t seem to be as much confidence in the government’s 7.0% projection -- or maybe the market’s outlook is being clouded by some other issue or concern not yet apparent,” he added.

Turnover increased yesterday, with a total of 1.46 billion shares worth P8.29 billion changing hands from Monday’s 1.39 billion shares worth P7.48 billion. Net foreign buying similarly rose to P761.72 million from the previous day’s P109.05 million. Losers outstripped gainers, 106 to 92, while 49 issues did not move.

For today, the market is seen “still moving sideways” pending any market moving development, Summit Securities’ Mr. Liu said.

Analysts placed immediate support for the PSEi at 7,700 while resistance was pegged at the 8,000 level. -- I.C.C. Delavin with Reuters