November 21, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Stocks rebound as sentiment improves

LOCAL STOCKS ended in positive territory on Friday as sentiment bounced back following the release of below-consensus Philippine first quarter economic growth data.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 9.93 points or 0.12% to close at 7,767.62 on Friday. This was a reversal of Thursday’s 68.84-point drop, which was due to the weaker-than-expected Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth print of 6.4%.

The broader all-shares gauge likewise ended 7.83 points or 0.16% higher at 4,634.25 at the closing bell on Friday.

“The market was down most of the day in reaction to the weak GDP figure. However we got a mixed reaction from investors at the end of trading as it started sinking in that despite slower economic data, we still remained fastest in the region, so some investors took advantage of some stocks that were heavily beaten,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Senior Analyst Lexter L. Azurin said via phone.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday that GDP growth eased to 6.4% in the first quarter, below the lower end of the government’s 6.5-7.5% target for the year and slower compared to the 6.6% posted in the preceding quarter and 6.9% in the same period last year.

Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu shared the same view saying “investors digested the Q1 GDP [and the] bigger picture is that it remains as one of the best in the region.”

“It was a no news [day]. Investors just digested the GDP and their optimism improved somehow. It was also slightly up as US market saw a recovery. Currently, there’s nothing on the local or global news to create a panic or worry,” Mr. Liu said separately via phone.

Regina Capital Development Corp. President Marita A. Limlingan said on Friday: “Market was really flat today for lack of catalyst to propel it. No good news. Earnings season almost over and volume was likewise low. Investors chose to wait and see for new developments.”

Sectoral indices ended mixed. Industrials led the gainers, adding 66.48 points to 0.6% to close at 11,012.37, followed by services which rose 5.38 points or 0.34% to end at 1,607.93. Financials also gained 6.12 points or 0.31% to close at 1,924.67.

On the other hand, mining and oil lost 19.68 points or 0.15% to 12,595.70; property dropped 4.18 points or 0.11% to 3,497.77; and holding firms also dipped by 0.22 point to close at 7,918.23.

Value turnover dropped to P5.97 billion on Friday from the previous day’s P7.49 billion, with 1.16 billion shares changing hands.

Foreign selling persisted, with net outflows coming in at P559.48 million, slightly higher than Thursday’s P549.37 million.

Advancers trumped decliners, 108 to 73, while 58 stocks were unchanged. -- ICCD