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PSEi climbs on last-minute buying, eased lockdown

THE MAIN INDEX went up on Friday on last-minute buying and after the government announced updated quarantine restrictions on Thursday.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 32.96 points or 0.52% to close at 6,269.36 on Friday, while the all shares index lost 7.02 points or 0.18% to end at 3,850.98.

COL Financial Group, Inc. Chief Technical Analyst Juanis G. Barredo said the PSEi closed “miraculously” after “buy-on-close” brokers lifted the market, “creating an artificially positive close and bewildering many.”

“Unfortunately, this artificial climb may have to naturally adjust down and normalize on the next trading day,” Mr. Barredo said in a Viber message.

He noted the market weakened earlier in the day as investors reacted to Wall Street’s decline following the release of US inflation data.

“Although the US did rally last night, the PSE was coming from a holiday Thursday, and it had not yet reacted to markets coming down the day previous,” Mr. Barredo said on Friday.

Financial markets were closed on Thursday in observance of the Feast of Ramadan or Eid al-Fitr.

“The market managed to respect the 6,200 support area with the index ending slightly higher during the last minute of trading, as investors digested the government’s decision to ease the lockdown measures enforced in NCR Plus,” Timson Securities, Inc. trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a separate Viber message.

NCR Plus, which includes Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, will shift to a slightly looser lockdown beginning Saturday, May 15.

Presidential Spokesperson Herminio “Harry” L. Roque, Jr. said in a statement on Thursday evening that President Rodrigo R. Duterte put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under a general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions” until May 31.

Most sectoral indices closed in the red on Friday except for holding firms, which improved by 113.12 points or 1.81% to finish at 6,344.87.

Meanwhile, mining and oil fell by 128.44 points or 1.39% to 9,071.02; property dropped by 23.07 points or 0.77% to 2,948.41; industrials went down by 65.22 points or 0.75% to close at 8,558.71; services declined by 7.78 points or 0.53% to 1,434.47; and financials lost 4.34 points or 0.3% to end at 1,399.30.

Value turnover soared to P11.06 billion on Friday with 4.18 billion shares switching hands, from the P6.2 billion with 3.63 shares traded on Wednesday.

Decliners beat advancers, 152 versus 50, while 52 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers with P2.04 billion in net purchases, a reversal of the P565.86 million in net outflows seen the previous trading day. — K.C.G. Valmonte

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