PSE index inches up as investors wait for leads

THE MAIN INDEX closed nearly flat on Monday after oil prices dropped on Friday and as investors look for catalysts ahead of central bank meetings this week.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 5.08 points or 0.07% to close at 6,585.20 on Monday, while the broader all shares index lost 0.41 point or 0.01% to 3,436.99.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said PSEi gained for a second straight day on window-dressing activities before the year ends.

“The PSEi also gained after global crude oil prices posted new lows in nearly a year or since Dec. 22, 2021,” Mr. Ricafort said.

On Friday, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was 44 cents lower at $71.02 a barrel, while Brent crude closed 5 cents lower at $76.10 per barrel.

However, on Monday, prices rose on uncertainty over the restart of a key pipeline supplying the United States and the threat from Russia to cut production in retaliation for a Western price cap on its exports, Reuters reported.

Brent crude futures were up 0.6% to $76.58 a barrel, while US WTI crude was at $71.62 a barrel, up 0.8%.

“The markets also anticipate the latest US inflation data on Dec. 13, as the main US inflation gauge is expected to ease further … that could support smaller Fed rate hikes going forward… also ahead of the Fed rate-setting meeting,” Mr. Ricafort added.

November US consumer price index data were set to be released overnight. Markets expect the report to be a key consideration at the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Dec. 13-14, where it seen to hike rates by just 50 basis points (bps) following four straight 75-bp increases.

“The PSE index continues to trade above the downtrend channel, which shows bullish sentiment,” Mercantile Securities Corp. Head Trader Jeff Radley C. See said in a Viber message.

“No new catalyst yet for the market in the short term. The index might just move sideways,” he said.

The majority of sectoral indices closed higher on Monday. Financials added 19.30 points or 1.17% to close at 1,658.68; holding firms increased by 29.54 points or 0.46% to 6,391.11; industrials rose by 3.84 points or 0.04% to 9,283.65; and mining and oil inched up by 0.72 point to close at 10,577.10.

Meanwhile, services lost 27.73 points or 1.6% to end at 1,704.68 and property declined by 4.35 points or 0.15% to 2,854.75.

Value turnover dropped to P5.51 billion on Monday with 570.19 million shares changing hands from the P6.1 billion with 516.99 million issues traded on Friday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 102 to 84, while 52 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling climbed to P685.2 million from the P465.36 million logged the previous day.

Mercantile Securities’ Mr. See put the PSEi’s support at 6,250-6,388 and resistance at 6,621-6,840. Meanwhile, RCBC’s Mr. Ricafort placed the PSEi’s next minor support at 6,380-6,550 and resistance at 6,630-6,670. — J.I.D. Tabile with Reuters

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