November 25, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Bargain hunt extends equities’ slight gains

LOCAL SHARES extended slight gains for a second trading day on bargain hunting on Monday, which also saw foreign investors remain net buyers for a third straight day.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index edged up 23.36 points or 0.29% to close 7,866.52, but not before opening slightly lower at 7,840.23 from last Friday’s 7,843.16 finish.

The all-shares index gained 12.98 points or 0.27% to end 4,705.01.

“Philippine markets continued the cautious bargain hunting despite the low value turnover after the expected 1H17 window dressing... depressed value turnover and the lack of market moving-data because of the fourth of July holiday in the US,” said Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

Joylin F. Telagen, equity research analyst at IB Gimenez Securities, said separately via text that “[f]or the week, though, I think investors will look towards Fed minutes and US non-farm payrolls” report that will be released on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

Mr. Limlingan added that a speech scheduled to be delivered on Thursday by US Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer will be watched closely for further hints on the pace of policy normalization after the three 25-basis point rate increases since December last year.

On the local front, Wednesday will also see the Philippine Statistics Authority report inflation rate for June which both the central bank and many private sector economists estimate could be lower than May’s 3.1% but faster than June 2016’s 1.9%.

Monday saw the property sectoral index leading gainers with a 47.86-point or 1.32% rise to finish 3,654.65, followed by mining and oil that increased by 138.52 points or 1.10% to 12,706.27, industrial which edged up 74.71 points or 0.68% to 11,038.06 and financials which went up 7.99 points o4 0.41% to 1,945.93.

Services dropped 6.13 points or 0.36% to finish 1,681.51 points while holding firms slid 11.57 points or 0.15% to end 7,877.55.

Unlike the preceding four trading days, advancers this time outnumbered losers 118 to 74, while 53 issues finished unchanged.

Trading thinned, with 1.78 billion shares worth P4.89 billion changing hands on Monday from the 2.07 billion worth P9.90 billion on Friday last week.

Foreigners remained predominantly buyers with P268.27-million net buying that was nevertheless just a fourth of last Friday’s P1.03 billion.

Gainers were led by DMCI Holdings, Inc. (1.42% up to P14.30 apiece) and Ayala Land, Inc. (1.64% up to P40.40 each), while SM Investments Corp. (down one percent to P795) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (down 0.31% to P97.50 per share) led losers. -- J.C. Lim