Shares finish higher on eased selling pressure

Weakening selling pressure allowed the stock market to close in the green for another day on Wednesday.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed by 0.12 percent or 7.75 points to finish at 6,566.83, while the broader All Shares gained 0.27 percent or 10.63 points to end at 3,964.78.

AAA Equities Head of Research Christopher Mangun said the market ended flat on lighter selling pressure, but noted that buyers were still unwilling to go in, resulting in minimal price recovery.

“There is still a lot of concern regarding the possibility of a hard lockdown amid soaring Covid-19 cases,” he said.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases grew by 4,387 to 635,698, of which 61,773 are active, the latest Department of Health data showed on Wednesday. Of the total, 561,099 have recovered and 12,866 did not.

The past week saw the daily infection toll surpass the 5,000 mark, alarming citizens and sparking concerns of a return to a stricter quarantine, which the government wants to avoid.

Many local governments have imposed localized lockdowns, as well as a uniform curfew and liquor bans to keep the number of cases from rising further.

Mangun expects the bourse to continue moving sideways between 6,500 and 6,600 until the end of the week.

“The sideways trend is a sign of uncertainty, the market can’t decide whether it wants to go higher or lower, hence the sideways trend,” he explained.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said the main index gained slightly as investors anticipate the conclusion of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting.

The indices of most local sectors ended higher, with services leading gainers at 0.7 percent. Property was the sole decliner at 0.52 percent.

Total volume turnover was at 4.62 billion shares, valued at P6.85 billion.

Advancers outpaced losers, 122 to 94, while 47 securities were unchanged.