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Market likely to pause this week

Local stocks are expected to trade weak as many investors shy away from the market during this shortened trading week.

Philippine markets will be closed on Thursday and Friday in observance the Lenten Season.

“Sessions might stay limited during a three-date trading week given the Lenten pause,” online brokerage firm 2TradeAsia.com said.

“Moving forward, attention could switch to upcoming shareholders’ meeting, where preliminary indications might be given on first quarter earnings results. The latter would help validate the strength of corporate earnings growth—an integral component to justify valuations,” it added.  

Analysts said the further delay in the national budget approval as well as the negative effects of El Niño were affecting market sentiments. The two factors could lead to a lower economic growth for the Philippines this year.

Developments overseas, especially global trade concerns and uncertainties surrounding the United Kingdom’s move to exit the European Union, will likewise influence the market over the short term period.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index last week closed flat at 7,880.82 points, while the broader All Shares Index inched up 0.3 percent to 4,863.15.

Six sectoral indices ended mix with the financials, holding firms and mining and oil sectors posting week-on-week declines, while the industrial, property and services registered week-on-week increases.

Foreign investors were net buyers for the week by P2.8 billion, while the average daily value traded stood at P7.3 billion from the previous week’s P5.5 billion.

Weekly top price gainers were Semirara Mining and Power Corp., which climbed 6.8 percent to P23.35; San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc., which rose 6.6 percent to P112; and Ayala Land Inc., which advanced 3.5 percent to P46.

Weekly top price losers, meanwhile, were PXP Energy Corp., which declined 19.6 percent to P7.62; Megawide Construction Corp., which dropped 4.9 percent to P21; and 8990 Holdings Inc., which dipped 4.5 percent to P12.96.

Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic, meanwhile, pushed higher on Friday following strong earnings from JPMorgan Chase and the launch of a new Disney streaming service that wowed Wall Street.

Wrong-footing financial sector watchers who had warned of a “not that great” earnings season for banks, JP Morgan reported higher first-quarter profits on Friday, pointing to a still-solid US economy reflected in more lending and better profit margins on loans.

JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said a derailment of the US-China trade talks remained the biggest near-term risk but offered an upbeat appraisal of the US economy as a whole.

“If you look at the American economy, the consumer’s in good shape, the balance sheet is in good shape, people are going back to the workforce. Companies have plenty of capital and capital expenditure is still up year-over-year,” Dimon said.

“Business confidence and consumer confidence are both rather high, not at all-time peaks, rather high.” With AFP

Topics: Lenten Season , Semirara Mining and Power Corp , Jaime Dimon , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , United Kingdom
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