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Market likely to move sideways

Stocks are expected to move sideways this week after the benchmark index failed to stay above the 8,400-point level last week.

Analysts said the market’s inability to close above the 8,400-point mark was now pointing the index to a range of 8,350 to 8,600.

BDO Unibank Inc. chief investment strategist Jonathan Ravelas said a break below the 8,350-point level could push the market to test the resistant level of 8,000 to 8,100.

Other analysts, however, said the US market’s strong close last week on favorable jobs data could provide a catalyst to snap the market’s current range-bound trading.

The Dow Jones closed above 25,000, with Nasdaq finishing at a record high, after data showed that 313,000 jobs were created in February, the biggest gain since the middle of 2016.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index ended lower by 1 percent last week to close at 8,372.51, while the broader all-share index fell 0.2 percent to 5,052.79.

Except for the property and services sectors which rose 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent respectively, all other sub-indices ended in the red led by mining and oil (-3.2 percent), financial (-1.6 percent), holding firms (-1.3 percent) and industrial (-0.3 percent).

Foreign investors were net sellers by P2.6 billion last week, while average daily turnover declined to P7.1 billion from the previous week’s P8.7 billion.

Central Azucarera de Tarlac Inc. was among the top gainers after its share price  jumped 56.8 percent to P36, following announcements that it would sell a 290-hectare lot in Tarlac provide to developer Ayala Land Inc.

Other weekly gainers were First Gen Corp. which climbed 15.2 percent to P16.68 and Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. which rose 8.3 percent to P1.52.

Heavy losers last week included LT Group Inc. which retreated 9.2 percent to P19.70, Semirara Mining and Power Corp. which dropped 8.5 percent to P33.55 and ABS-CBN Corp. which lost 4.7 percent to P30.

Asian stocks are likely to take a cue on the looming trade war between the US and its trade partners.  President Donald Trump renewed his demand Saturday that the European Union halts its trade barriers to US products in order to spare his allies new steel and aluminum tariffs.

The American president made his comments after crunch talks in Brussels between EU negotiators and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in an effort to defuse a bitter row that many fear could turn into an all-out trade war.

The EU’s top trade official said the US failed to provide full clarity on how Europe and Japan could be spared set to continue next week.

“The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the US very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum,” Trump tweeted. 

“If they drop their horrific barriers and tariffs on US products going in, we will likewise drop ours. Big deficit. If not, we tax cars etc. Fair!” 

President Donald Trump’s announcement of duties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum has stung the European Union, along with other major partners including Japan, whose Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko also attended the talks in Brussels. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , BDO Unibank Inc , Jonathan Ravelas , US market , Central Azucarera de Tarlac Inc , Philippine Stock Exchange
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