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Local shares decline as foreigners exit market

PHILIPPINE shares closed in the red on Thursday as investors pocketed their gains and as foreigners exited the market amid lingering concerns on the economy’s prospects.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 23.86 points or 0.37% to close at 6,415.53 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index declined by 16.93 points or 0.42% to 3,947.41.

COL Financial Group, Inc. Chief Technical Analyst Juanis G. Barredo said the benchmark index went down amid “pressure due to foreign selling, worries over longer term impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) and the lack of fresh catalysts.”

“The mining sector worked in a heavy correction today due to profit taking after seeing a large pick up into the last week or so stemming from the government’s announcement to reopen the sector,” Mr. Barredo added.

For his part, China Bank Securities Corp. Research Head Rastine Mackie D. Mercado said the PSEi declined “as more index issues showed signs of capitulation.”

“Trading volumes also remained lackluster and foreigners remained net sellers in today’s session,” Mr. Mercado said via e-mail on Thursday. “Investors also continued to take profit on mining issues after their recent rallies.”

All sectoral indices closed in the red on Thursday. Mining and oil lost 317.51 points or 3.45% to close at 8,872.65; financials went down by 9.57 points or 0.68% to 1,382.03; industrials declined by 51.69 points or 0.59% to 8,638.67; services slumped by 5.69 points or 0.39% to 1,445.71; holding firms fell by 19.84 points or 0.3% to 6,506.74; and property gave up 6.40 points or 0.2% to finish at 3,129.71.

Value turnover went up to P5.65 billion with 3.66 billion shares switching hands on Thursday from the P5.37 billion with 3.46 billion shares seen on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, net foreign selling ballooned to P1.12 billion on Thursday from the P776.80 million logged in the previous trading day.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 127 versus 71, while 46 names closed unchanged on Thursday.

Mr. Mercado said he expects the market “to remain in limbo” due to the lack of near-term catalysts.

“Possible developments to watch out for over the coming weeks include the release of firms’ first-quarter financial results, government report on the first quarter gross domestic product figures, and the arrival of second quarter vaccine shipments,” he said.

“We may see the index test the support at 6,330 over the coming days, as it traverses the 6,330 to 6,650 range,” Mr. Mercado said.

“The index now stands at a crucial spot of support, close to 6,400, as a break of this may drive a further slip towards 6,200 to 6,100,” COL Financial Group’s Mr. Barredo added. — K.C.G. Valmonte

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