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Main index closes lower in absence of fresh leads

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

LOCAL SHARES ended in negative territory on Monday as investors resorted to profit taking due to a lack of market catalysts.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 47.91 points or 0.65% to close at 7,224.89, while the broader all shares index fell 23.01 points or 0.52% to end at 4,326.34.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said the market ended lower due to a lack of catalysts and as investors just proceeded to pocket their profits.

“Given the lack of compelling factors, investors chose to book gains resulting in the decline,” Mr. Tantiangco said in a text message.

“Before Monday, the market was trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.8x, above the 2015-2019 average of 18.4x,” he added.

For AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun, the local bourse dropped due to heavy selling pressure at the start of the trading day.

“Trading volumes on second liners and speculative issues spiked as investors try to seal a profit before the holidays. Volumes may continue to decline in the coming trading days,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan said the market closed lower as investors opted to stay conservative.

“The market ended slightly lower as investors have pocketed their gains over the shortened trading week due to the upcoming holidays,” Mr. Pangan said in a mobile phone message.

Most of the sectoral indices at the PSE ended in negative territory on Monday, with property being the sole gainer, climbing 0.66 point or 0.01% to end at 3,685.18.

Industrials declined 109.29 points or 1.14% to 9,442.66; mining and oil went down 80.29 points or 0.84% to 9,468.15; holding firms retreated 51.5 points or 0.68% to 7,460.04; financials shrank 9.68 points or 0.65% to 1,479.01; and services decreased 7.2 points or 0.46% to 1,541.46.

Decliners bested advancers, 144 against 83, while 42 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover on Monday amounted to P8.49 billion with 33.48 billion issues switching hands, lower than the P11.88 billion with 23.55 billion issues during the previous session.

“This shows that trading this Monday still had conviction, but has waned relative to last week,” Mr. Tantiangco said.

Net foreign selling reached P104.76 million, lower than the outflows worth P1.11 billion on Friday.

“The index seems to have moved sideways for the past few days, with nearest support at 7,100 while immediate resistance at the 7,350 area,” Mr. Pangan said.

“The PSEi was able to close above its 7,200 support level today. However, increased selling pressure in the coming days may send it closer to 7,000,” Mr. Mangun said on Monday.

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