Stocks end flat on lack of catalysts

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The stock market struggled to close higher yesterday amid mixed regional bourses.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) managed to wipe out losses in the early trade, gaining a meager 0.02 percent, or 1.49 points, to finish at 7,282.68.

On the other hand, the broader All Shares index shed 3.41 points, or 0.07 percent, to settle at 4,404.59.

Among sectoral counters, gainers were led by the industrial index. Losers on the other hand, were led by the financials and services counters.

Total value turnover, however, remained thin at P5.73 billion while market breadth was negative as decliners outpaced gainers, 111 to 85 while 48 stocks were left unchanged.

Traders said market investors are still waiting for stronger catalysts such as corporate earnings results and a respite in uncertainties from the global arena.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., meanwhile, moved to calm the market amid the peso’s depreciation, saying that the weaker peso was due to high demand for dollars and market position.

This, he said, reflected a healthy, vibrant market.

“These are part of a healthy vibrant market, not to say we will stand back when movements are disruptive,” Tetangco said.

Elsewhere in the region, Asian markets were mixed. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 percent while Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down by as much as 0.3 percent.


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