The local stock barometer closed a tad higher on Wednesday, shored up by telecom stocks although overall sentiment remained cautious ahead of the next US Federal Reserve meeting.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index added 0.04 points or 0.001 percent to close at 7,294.56 while regional markets traded with mixed sentiment.
The PSEi was led higher by PLDT, the day’s most actively traded stock, which rose by 6.6 percent.
Joey Roxas, president of Eagle Equities, said PLDT’s rise was due to “better-than-expected 2016 results.”
PLDT’s full-year 2016 core profit declined by 20.9 percent to P27.9 billion. Online stock brokerage COL Financial said: “The full-year figure is in line with COL estimates accounting for 99.6 percent of our forecasts, while outperforming consensus estimates comprising 108.3 percent of the forecast.”
PLDT rival Globe Telecom also rose by 4.69 percent.
“Philippine markets traded flat after news from the OECD (Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation) and resorted to bargain hunting today,” said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development.
The OECD—a club of the world’s richest nations—warned that the post-US euphoria had pushed the pricing of certain asset classes out of kilter with expected rates of economic growth.
In its interim economic outlook report, Limlingan noted that the OECD had forecast global growth of 3.3 percent for 2017 and 3.6 percent for 2018, unchanged from projections made in November.
In the meantime, he noted that US stocks had closed lower as the market appeared to be “in a state of limbo ahead of the February payrolls data and the upcoming global central bank meetings.”
The US Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates during its meeting in the middle of this month.
Because of gains eked out by telecom stocks, the services counter rose by 2.56 percent.
The property counter was also modestly higher while the industrial, holding firms and mining/oil counters dipped. The financial counter was unchanged.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P6.6 billion. Foreign investors were net sellers to the tune of P310 million.
Despite the PSEi’s slight gain, market breadth was negative as there were 98 decliners that edged out 81 advancers while 49 stocks were unchanged.
Outside of PSEi stocks, investors loaded up on shares of Xurpas (+6 percent) and Shakey’s Pizza (+1.24 percent), which were both among the most actively traded stocks.
On the other hand, Security Bank, MPI and AGI all fell by over 1 percent while Jollibee, Metrobank, SMIC and URC also slipped.
Puregold fell 2.02 percent on profit-taking ahead of its debut on the PSEi on Monday.
At the local market, BDO and LTG also gained over 1 percent while SM Prime, Ayala Corp. and BPI also firmed up.
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