Stocks open week stronger on earnings, rate cut outlook
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The stock market opened the week on a strong note although investors remained cautious over the lingering impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 44.85 points or 0.61 percent to finish at 7,326.85, while the broader All Shares index rose 19.59 points or 0.45 percent to end at 4,338.70.

The sectoral gauges were a mixed bag though, with holding firms, industrial and financials finishing in positive territory.

On the other hand, the mining and oil, services and property gauges finished in the red.

Total value turnover reached P7.836 billion as market breadth was positive with 107 advancers to 77 decliners, while 49 issues were left unchanged.

Traders said bargain hunting and anticipation of strong corporate earnings brought some investors back to the market.

“Bargain hunting amid earnings anticipation and rate cut hopes sent the local market up by 44.85 points (0.62 percent) at 7,326.85. Conglomerates took the lead, surging 1.35 percent,” Philstocks Financials said.

Foreign buying reached P4.42 billion, while foreign selling was higher at P4.76 billion for a net foreign selling of P336 million.

“Minor gains in several blue chips allowed the PSEi the end slightly higher despite average trading volumes and more foreign outflows. The general sentiment remains extremely cautious despite the lack of panic selling today. Most investors are on the sidelines waiting for a better environment. We expect it to trade sideways for the time being. Retail investors were active today with several second-liners trading as much as blue chips,” said Chris Mangun of AAA Securities.­­­

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