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Economy

Stocks climb as lawmakers push for fresh stimulus

SHARES ended higher on Monday after the filing of another stimulus package meant to boost the country’s economic recovery and as the government readies its vaccination efforts.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved 5.3 points or 0.07% to finish at 7,024.48 on Monday, while the broader all shares index climbed 15.77 points or 0.37% to end at 4,232.57.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a mobile phone message that the local market ended in positive territory as sentiment was lifted by the filing of House Bill No. 8628 or the Bayanihan to Arise as One Act (Bayanihan III).

“Late day buying sent the local market higher today. Further, the measure — if passed — is seen to help in the recovery of the local economy,” Mr. Tantiangco said on Monday.

House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco and Marikina City 2nd District Representative Stella Luz A. Quimbo filed the bill, which is a P420-billion stimulus package aimed at reviving the country’s economy amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a mobile phone message that the local market improved on news about the government’s vaccination drive.

“The local market inched up a few points despite trading mostly in red territory earlier this morning. Investors may have turned cautiously optimistic,” Mr. Pangan said on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said in a briefing yesterday that the government is ready to start its inoculation program and is just awaiting the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.

“There was increased selling pressure at the beginning of the trading session. However, buyers were quick to pick up shares, ultimately driving prices higher. The general sentiment remains cautious,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

Financials rose 37.72 points or 2.6% to 1,488.35; mining and oil increased 204.79 points or 2.32% to 9,017.04; industrials gained 50.41 points or 0.55% to 9,221.63; and services added 0.45 point or 0.03% to 1,498.27.

Meanwhile, holding firms lost 38.17 points or 0.53% to 7,127.22 and property fell 13.08 points or 0.36% to 3,587.69.

Advancers bested decliners, 122 against 99, while 44 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover on Monday amounted to P10.43 billion with 29.55 billion issues switching hands, higher than the P9.21 billion with 19.76 billion shares logged in the previous session.

Net foreign buying declined to P20.74 million from the P51.51 million Mr. Mangun said the local bourse may continue moving sideways this trading week.

“6,600 remains the immediate support area that we have to watch this week, while 7,300 seems to be the nearest resistance area,” Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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