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Stock Market Outlook

• Last week: Local share prices continued their declines fall last week after the market was spooked by the debt crisis in the eurozone area following the impending bailout of Cyprus. Local authorities came to the rescue assuring investors that the situation in Cyprus won’t significantly affect the Philippines.

The benchmark index closed the week lower by 2 percent or by 135.89 points to 6,518.71 after gains during trading in Thursday and Friday were not enough to offset the large fall set early in the week.

All other sectors were also down, except for the mining and oil sector. The broader All-Share index shed 1.6 percent to 4,099.26 points, while the Property index lost more than 2 percent to close the week at 2,653.34. Holding firms were the biggest losers for the week, down by almost 4 percent to 5,702.38 while the Mining and Oil sector recovered from the previous week’s losses and gained 0.55 percent to 21,491.46.

Average daily trading was at P10.23 billion, higher than the year-to-date average of P8.86 billion. Losers beat gainers, 91 to 69.

Jollibee Foods Corp. lost about 6 percent to P115 per share, SM Prime Holdings also shed 6 percent to close the week at P18.20, while Filinvest Land Inc. was down by more than 5 percent to P18.20 per share.

Most of the gainers were from mining firms led by Semirara Mining Corp. that gained 13 percent to P261 per share, while Holcim Philippines Inc. gained 5 percent to P13.60. International Container Terminal Services Inc. also bucked the trend and gained 3 percent to P89.70 apiece.

 

• This week: Traders said it will be a slower three-day work week ahead as most of the investors are likely to take a break for the Holy Week holidays The market is closed on Thursday and Friday.

“Trading activity might be thin. Long-term players are likely to seize this lull to position, in anticipation of improved local prospects for the initial quarter of the year,” Freya May Natividad of online brokerage firm 2TradeAsia said.

She that support level of the Philippine Stock Exchange index is at 6,400 points, but resistance is at a much wider at 6,570 to 6,600.

 

• Stock picks: Analysts recommend buying Leisure and Resorts World Corp. as it expects more revenues when the Belle Grande Manila Bay, a mega casino in Entertainment City in Parañaque, opens by the middle of next year. The company has a P1-billion equity investment in the said project.

They also recommended that investors look at Philex Mining Corp., which reported a lower net income as a result of the closure of its Padcal mine last year due to a tailings leak. The company, however, has rights to the Silangan Project, a field in Surigao del Norte which has an estimated $35 billion worth of copper and gold deposits. The company is set to start operations by 2017. Calaycay suggests to “hold and accumulate on weakness” for the said stock.

VG Cabuag

 

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