PSEi opens April in positive territory

The local bourse welcomed the second quarter on a positive note, posting slight gains on Monday.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was up 0.81 percent or 52.06 points to close at 6,495.15, while the broader All Shares climbed 0.59 percent or 23.17 points to finish at 3,947.46.

AAA Equities head of research Christopher Mangun said investors held on to their positions and gave the market the “benefit of the doubt,” as most were expecting some panic selling and were bearish into the trading week.

“The government’s intent to allow the private sector to purchase and administer vaccines with minimal limitations, as well as the release of P23 billion worth of financial assistance to those under tighter restrictions may have improved the sentiment,” he added.

Mangun noted that trading volumes slipped further, signalling that most investors stayed on the sideline amid cautious sentiment.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan, meanwhile, said the main index climbed higher “following the solid infrastructure plan rolled out by US President Joe Biden and with investors making several bets for the month ahead.”

Limlingan also cited the recently released Philippine manufacturing sector data for March.

IHS Markit on Monday reported that the country’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was 52.2 in March from 52.5 in February.

The holding firms sector led the gainers at 1.52 percent, while the property index was the sole decliner at 0.29 percent.

The PMI takes into account new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery time, and stocks. Readings above 50 signal an expansion; below that, a contraction.

Total volume turnover was at 1.85 billion shares valued at P5.36 billion.

Winners outpaced losers, 117 to 85, while 48 securities were unchanged.