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PSEi ends higher as bargain hunters shrug off inflation data

Stocks ended higher on Friday as investors continued bargain hunting despite the higher inflation figure for January, analysts said.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved 115.43 points or 1.67% to end at 7,019.18, while the broader all-shares index climbed 51.47 points or 1.24% to close at 4,216.80.

On Friday, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported headline inflation accelerated 4.2% in January, faster than 3.5% in December and 2.9% in January 2020.

“Investors brushed aside the latest CPI (consumer price index) print and continued with the bargain hunting following overseas markets,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said on Viber.

He added that equities in regional markets were able to extend their three-day rally on Thursday, as they were boosted by “good corporate earnings and positive economic data.”

For First Metro Investment Corp. Research Head Ma. Cristina S. Ulang, equities were “oblivious” to the higher inflation. She said in a text message that the rollout of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines would “augur well for economic reopening”

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said this week’s performance showed that there were “many investors who were willing to pick up shares as they anticipated higher valuations in the longer term,” despite the latest inflation numbers.

“The PSEi ended the week higher, wiping out almost (all) of its losses from the week before. It gained more than 400 points to end slightly above the 7,000 key level despite the disappointing inflation numbers that just came out,” he told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.

US stocks ended higher, while the majority of Asian stocks logged gains on Friday, except for MSCI AC Asia Pacific index.

Back home, all of the sectoral indices ended Friday’s session with gains.

Financials increased by 19.51 points or 1.36% to 1,450.63. Industrial rose by 125.87 points or 1.39% to 9,171.22. Holding firms improved 119.44 points or 1.70% to 7,165.39. Services inched up 0.08 points or 0.005% to 1,497.82. Mining and oil rose by 113.72 points or 1.31% to 8,812.25.

Property stocks posted the biggest gains at 82.30 points or 2.34% to 3,600.77. “The (PSEi’s) close at above 7,000 was due to a rush of buying at the close, which may correct in the coming trading week. Meanwhile, all sub-indices closed in the black with the property and holding sub-indices leading with the strongest gains,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Director Rastine Mackie D. Mercado said via e-mail.

Advancers beat decliners, 123 versus 76, with 56 left unchanged.

Value turnover stood at P8.80 billion with 19.76 billion issues switching hands, lower than the previous session’s P10.42 billion with 36.20 billion issues. Net foreign buying reached P51.51 million, compared with P471.61 million that left the market on Thursday.

“The week’s close at 7,019.18 signals another attempt towards the 7,300 levels in the near-term. This comes after strong support emerged at the 6,700/6,800 levels,” BDO Unibank, Inc. Chief Market Strategist Jonathan L. Ravelas said in a mobile message. — Angelica Y. Yang

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