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PSEi ends lower as investors sell shares before the holidays

PHILIPPINE SHARES ended lower on Friday as investors chose to pocket their gains as the trading year winds down.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 25.22 points or 0.34% to end at 7,272.80, while the broader all shares index inched down by 0.94 point or 0.02% to 4,349.35.

Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu said the local bourse declined due to investors liquidating their stocks as the year comes to a close.

“Some of the investors are closing down their portfolios… There’s a five-day holiday. Nobody can leave, nobody can go shopping. It’s just that those (investors) would usually…take a long holiday. Some of them would sell,” Mr. Liu said in a phone interview.

He added that news about coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine candidates have been “maintaining the market.”

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said the market declined led by the heaviest firm in the index, SM Investments Corp.

“The 2.65% decline of SM weighed on the performance of the index. Investors are now looking into the development of a COVID-19 vaccine,” Ms. Alviar said in a text message.

Issues regarding vaccine procurement in the country are impeding hopes of a recovery, she said.
“We think that the ongoing issues of the vaccine at home are not helping to lift sentiment, but rather it becomes a hurdle to recovery hopes,” she said.

Sectoral indices were mixed. Industrials rose 74.04 points or 0.78% to 9,551.95; services climbed 11.17 points or 0.72% to 1,548.66; and mining and oil improved 9.46 points or 0.09% to 9,548.44.

Meanwhile, financials dropped 17.53 points or 1.16% to 1,488.69; holding firms fell 49.45 points or 0.65% to 7,511.54; and property decreased 9.18 points or 0.24% to 3,684.52.

Value turnover on Friday reached P11.88 billion with 23.55 billion issues switching hands, rising from the P9.26 billion worth of shares that changed hands in the previous session.

Advancers and decliners were tied at 110 apiece, while 50 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling climbed to P1.11 billion on Friday from the net P739.83 million that left the market the previous day.

Ms. Alviar said heavy net foreign selling also caused the PSEi to decline. — A.Y. Yang

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