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PSEi rebounds on bargain hunting, US stimulus

LOCAL SHARES bounced back on Monday as investors picked up bargains at the last minute and on news of a $1.9-trillion economic stimulus package being pushed in the United States.

Ending its six-day decline, the 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 25.67 points or 0.36% to close at 7,071.50 on Monday, while the broader all shares index rose 8.96 points or 0.21% to 4,250.65.

Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a mobile phone message that the local market improved as investors study the new stimulus package being pushed by US President Joe R. Biden.

Officials in Mr. Biden’s administration tried to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9-trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive on a Sunday call with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some of whom pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution, Reuters reported.

Lawmakers from both parties said they had agreed that getting the COVID-19 vaccine to Americans should be a priority, but some Republicans objected to such a hefty package only a month after Congress passed a $900-billion relief measure.

“We can’t wait,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “Just because Washington has been gridlocked before, doesn’t mean it needs to continue to be gridlocked.”

As of Monday, the US led all countries in terms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases at 25.12 million, based on data from the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard. The country also has the most deaths at 419,209.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said the market improved on bargain hunting.

“Last minute bargain hunting sent the local market higher on Monday. With this, the local bourse breaks its six-day losing streak,” Mr. Tantiangco said in a mobile phone message.

Sectoral indices ended mixed. Financials inched up 21.76 points or 1.5% to 1,470.88; property climbed 41.16 points or 1.15% to 3,609.27; and services gained 4.83 points or 0.31% to 1,540.96.

Meanwhile, mining and oil declined 109.25 points or 1.17% to 9,212.70; industrials retreated 73.73 points or 0.8% to 9,101.37; and holding firms lost 11.82 points or 0.16% to 7,213.33.

Value turnover on Monday reached P9.11 billion with 79.86 billion issues switching hands, lower than the P11.39 billion, with 135.08 billion issues traded in the previous session.

Decliners beat advancers, 129 against 92, while 39 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling amounted to P311.43 million, lower than the P1.42 billion logged on Friday.

“We’ll have to observe if the index continues to hold its 7,000 support, with 7,300 being the nearest resistance area,” Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave with Reuters

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