Local stocks firmed up on Thursday on selective buying of large-cap stocks despite lingering pandemic jitters.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 30.3 points or 0.42 percent to close at 7,273.15.
“The PSE ended higher despite reports that the more infectious mutation of COVID-19 has been detected on our shores. Buying pressure picked up right at the open after buyers noticed that there wasn’t much panic selling. This tells us that most investors were already expecting the new mutation to be found here and it was only a matter of time,” said Christopher Mangun, head of research at AAA Equities.
The 7,300 level remained a strong resistance level for the index, he noted.
“We may see a pullback on the last trading day of the week,” Mangun added.
The index was led higher by the financial counter, which rose by 1.09 percent. The holding firm, services and property counters all added less than 1 percent.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P10.96 billion. There was a modest net foreign buying of P242.46 million.
Despite the PSEi’s gain, market breadth was negative. There were 121 decliners that edged out 107 advancers, while 36 stocks were unchanged.
Investors picked up shares of Globe Telecom, which advanced by 4.11 percent, while Security Bank added 3.29 percent.
JG Summit rose by 2.99 percent while BDO, SM Prime and Metrobank all added over 1 percent. BPI firmed up by 0.64 percent.
With local investors dominating trades, trading activities continued to focus on stocks outside the PSEi.
Apollo Global and Premier Horizon surged by 11.76 percent and 19.15 percent, respectively, and were the No. 1 and No. 3 most actively traded companies in the market.
AC Energy racked up 7.26 percent, while MerryMart added 1.4 percent.
On the other hand, the PSEi’s gains were tempered by the decline of GT Capital and Meralco, which both lost over 2 percent.
Ayala Corp. and Jollibee both shed over 1 percent, while Ayala Land and SM Investments declined by less than 1 percent.
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