December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PSEi rallies for a second session on foreign buying

LOCAL STOCKS extended their gains for a second straight day lifted by foreign buying as investors bet on strong first quarter economic data which the government will release today.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) advanced 0.45% or 35.46 points to 7,826.53 yesterday. The all-shares gauge likewise climbed 0.23% or 10.86 points to reach 4,653.01 at the closing bell.

The PSEi touched a low of 7,803.09 and a high of 7,842.21 yesterday.

Investors traded 1.41 billion for a total value of P8.01 billion. Foreigners bought shares worth P4.79 billion and sold P4.28 billion, resulting in a net buying of P510.51 million.

“Market is up and foreign investors remained net buyers [yesterday]... possibly because investors are anticipating decent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) results. And release of corporate earnings has been positive so far, so these are also catalysts,” Victor F. Felix, equity analyst at AB Capital Securities, Inc., said in a phone interview.

“We’re the outlier in the region -- we were insulated as most Asians were down in reaction to developments in the US, with worries moving the market and spilled over Asia,” he added, referring to concerns over a recent report that President Donald J. Trump tried to influence a Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into links between his close group and Russia.

Most sectoral indices ended in the positive territory yesterday except for property which fell 0.11% or 4.09 points to 3,557.80.

Meanwhile, mining and oil led the gainers after adding 0.63% or 79.37 points to 12,632.57. Industrial rose 0.46% or 51.40 points to 11,014.63 followed by holding firms which gained by 0.37% or 30.04 points to end yesterday at 7,950.53.

Services and financials also ended in the positive territory adding 0.51% or 8.33 points to 1,613.66 and 0.38% or 7.35 points to 1,927.76 respectively.

Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu said -- aside from anticipation of the GDP reading, which Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia earlier said would likely be 7% -- the market also saw “lackluster” trading ahead of the two initial public offerings (IPO) next week.

“The market was up on technical reaction... The market is showing there is no crisis or anything negative to disrupt the momentum as good GDP has already been priced-in. It’s also just lackluster day because there is an IPO starting Monday, payment needs to be placed so the market is just going through that funding situation,” Mr. Liu added.

“So generally, it’s just parking time... the market is showing there is no negative in the picture. A good GDP will re-confirm that the trend is on-track to better improve.”

The government has set a full-year 6.5-7.5% official GDP growth target. A BusinessWorld survey of 13 economists and analysts late last week yielded a median 6.8% first-quarter growth estimate.

Advancers almost caught up with decliners 92 to 98, while 58 stocks were unchanged. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin