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Shares rise on vaccine rollout, bargain hunting

LOCAL shares closed in the green on Tuesday as investors went bargain hunting amid progress in the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations and the peso’s strength versus the dollar.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 40.66 points or 0.62% to close at 6,500.42 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index increased by 19.81 points or 0.49% to 3,988.83.

“Market has risen today on bargain hunting on optimism brought about by continued vaccine rollout, easing of restriction, and stable peso,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in a Viber message that the index improved due to positive economic data, such as the growth in remittances from overseas Filipino workers in February, the relaxation of mining rules, and a pause in the rise of the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasuries.

For his part, AB Capital Securities, Inc. Junior Equity Analyst Lance U. Soledad, equity analyst at AB Capital Securities, Inc., attributed the PSEi’s climb to last-minute buying.

“Trading was still thin and foreigners remained net sellers for the 13th straight session despite the rally,” Mr. Soledad said via Viber message.

Net foreign selling slowed to P486.97 million on Tuesday from the P704.45 million seen on Monday.

“The market is in equilibrium as buyers and sellers have balanced each other out,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John J. Mangun said in an e-mail.

“Optimism on the economy’s recovery and inoculation progress was canceled out by soaring new COVID-19 cases and tighter restrictions,” Mr. Mangun added. “Several mining issues advanced as investors’ speculate potential developments while taking advantage of the broader market’s advance.”

All sectoral indices posted gains on Tuesday. Mining and oil improved by 197.23 points or 2.17% to close at 9,259.99; industrials went up by 141.24 points or 1.64% to 8,703.89; property rose by 20.71 points or 0.65% to end at 3,203.25; financials gained 6.95 points or 0.49% to finish at 1,400.48; holding firms increased by 16.56 points or 0.25% to 6,593.84; and services inched up by 3.30 points or 0.23% to 1,439.21.

Value turnover increased to P5.52 billion on Tuesday with 5.84 billion issues traded from the P4.89 billion with 6.26 billion shares switching hands in the previous day.

Advancers outperformed decliners, 106 versus 84, while 56 names closed unchanged.

AB Capital Securities’ Mr. Soledad said he expects the PSEi to finish between 6,400 to 6,700 before the release of data on the country’s first quarter gross domestic product next month. — K.C.G. Valmonte

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