Philippine stocks rise on last-minute profit taking

By Adrian H. Halili, Reporter

PHILIPPINE shares inched up on Wednesday on last-minute profit taking as most investors remained cautions amid US debt ceiling talks.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 0.18% or 12.39 points to close at 6,615.95. The broader all-share index slid by 0.05% or 2.06 points to end at 3,525.36.

“The PSEi avoided a decline on last-minute buying as investors weighed on the developments regarding US debt ceiling talks after last night’s meeting failed to reach an agreement and has remained in a deadlock,” Carlos Angelo O. Temporal, senior equity research analyst at Unicapital Securities, Inc. said in a Viber message.

“This very cautious market sentiment is underscored by the negative market breadth and low value turnover, one of its lowest figures since April,” he added.

Claire T. Alviar, a research analyst at Philstocks Financial, Inc. said shares slightly rose due to last-minute bargain hunters who saved the index from falling.

“Investors also took advantage of the two consecutive days of market decline,” she said in a Viber message. “Market participation remained weak… as investors were closely monitoring the developments on the US debt ceiling.”

Value turnover fell to P3.8  billion, with 750-million shares changing hands, from P6.04 billion with 1.16-billion issues traded on Tuesday.

Representatives of US President Joseph Biden and congressional Republicans ended another round of debt ceiling talks on Tuesday, with no signs of progress as the deadline to raise the government’s $31.4-trillion borrowing limit or risk default ticked closer, according to Reuters.

The two groups remained deadlocked as Democrats argued that wealthy Americans and businesses should pay more taxes, while Republicans demanded Federal spending cuts.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned that the federal government could no longer have enough money to pay all its bills as soon as June 1, which would cause a default that would hammer the US economy and push borrowing costs higher.

The parties had yet to announce a new meeting.

Back home, majority of sectoral indices fell on Wednesday except for holding firms, which gained 0.78% or 51.57 points to 6,616.51; and industrials, which inched up by 0.01% or 0.58 point to close at 9,377.04.

Meanwhile, mining and oil fell by 0.75% or 77.77 points to 10,168.84; property lost 0.53% or 14.75 points to 2,732.85; services went down by 0.28% or 4.48 points to 1,561.95; and financials declined by 0.15% or 2.87 points to 1,850.19.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 101 to 68, while 50 stocks were unchanged.

Net foreign buying stood at P71.03 million versus the P250.17 million in net selling posted on Tuesday.