Share prices gained last week, allowing the main index to close higher for four consecutive weeks, but volume remained thin as investors remained on the sidelines.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 57.61 points to close at 6,299.50 points.
“The local market has been building momentum lately, rising for four weeks with a total gain of 5.16 percent. However, trading has been lethargic implying that the market’s current rally is not backed by strong investor participation,” Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco, senior research analyst at Philstocks Financials Inc., said.
Volume of trades was thin, averaging only P3.15 billion. Foreign investors, which accounted for less than half of the trades, were net buyers at P998.27 million.
Most of the sub-indices managed to close in the green, led by the All Shares index that gained 23.45 points to close at 3,348.22 points, the Financials index fell 4.84 to 1,745.72, the Industrial index surged 241.53 to 8,926.32, the Holding Firms index dropped 34.72 to 5,976.28, the Property index rose 32.60 to 2,689.98, the Services index climbed 34.13 to 1,521.29 and the Mining and Oil index added 148.63 to 9,660.30.
For the week, losers outnumbered winners 116 to 91 and 33 shares were unchanged.
Top gainers were Pacifica Holdings Inc., Roxas Holdings Inc., SFA Semicon Philippines Corp., Victorias Milling Co. Inc., Philex Mining Corp., Axelum Resources Corp. and Harbor Star Shipping Services Inc.
Top losers, meanwhile, were LMG Corp., Concrete Aggregates Corp. B shares, AgriNurture Inc., Fruitas Holdings Inc., Makati Finance Corp., Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. B and iPeople Inc.
Share prices may fall this week as profit takers may take the opportunity to cash in on the gains they made during the past month.
It will be a four-day trading week as Monday was declared a public holiday for Bonifacio Day, which was supposed to be celebrated on November 30.
“The four-week rally is seen to make the market more susceptible to profit taking. Expectations that interest rates will remain high for a while following BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] Governor Eli Remolona’s hawkish statements at the FX Forum Manila may also weigh on the market,” Tantiangco said.
He said investors are expected to watch out for catalysts that can spur optimism towards the local economy.
“Without such, we may see selling pressures dominate leading to a pull back for the local bourse,” he said.
Broker 2TradeAsia said all eyes are now on drivers for 2024, and whether broader market forces will follow the beat of the same drum as in late 2022 up to 2023.
“If the stars align for December, such as upcoming data releases at least track market expectations, a retest of 6,500 by year-end is not impossible.
Volume remains less than ideal, however, which warrants some caution in the hear-term, as the strength or technical signals are skewed by this anemic participation. In a market that seeks more conviction, aim for high quality corporate stories in 2024,” it said.
The main index’s market’s immediate support is seen at its 50-day exponential moving average. Resistance is seen at the 6,400 level.
Broker Regina Capital Development Corp. advised to range trade on the stock of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. as its shares have been trading sideways since September. The stock failed to break resistance and fall below support.
“Range trading could be a good opportunity for investors looking to cap in some small gains. Accumulate near support and sell near resistance,” it said.
Metrobank shares closed last week at P51.95 apiece.
Meanwhile, it advised to buy on pullbacks in the stock of Ayala Corp. (AC) as its technical indicators showed that the bears are pulling off an attempt to get the company’s shares back to their side.
“What can be inferred from the chart is that AC’s price action today is temporary and could open for some buying opportunity for traders as the stock’s price pulls back. AC’s support is at P636.80, while its resistance is at P651.50,” it said.
Ayala’s shares closed at P652 apiece on Friday.