MANILA – Local share prices started the quarter on a positive note, closing marginally higher on Monday, as investors’ optimism mounts ahead of next month’s general elections.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) snapped a two-day decline, losing 9.40 points, to 7,254.53 from Friday’s 7,245.13 finish.
“The election cycle is one of the major reasons that underpin optimism in equities that has somehow been clouded over by external headwinds. But now that the headwinds have erased –even as some clouds remain above the horizon – we can feel the rays of optimism beginning to shine on the market,” said Justino Calaycay Jr., head of marketing and research at A&A Securities Inc.
Calaycay expects the second quarter to serve as a period when investors will accumulate stocks and beef up their portfolio, believing to historical evidence that the second quarter of an election year generally provided equities gains regardless of poll results.
He said Monday’s gains were also inspired by the advance in share prices in the United States (US) Friday night on improved manufacturing and jobs data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average booked triple-digit, falling less than 10 points below the 17,800-mark. The S&P500 added 13.04 points while tech-heavy Nasdaq finished with gains of nearly 1 percent.
At home, counters were mixed, with only the services and mining and oil finishing in the negative territory.
The sub-indices of other sectors rose slightly.
Volume of transactions reached 1.48 billion shares valued at Php5.17 billion.
Advancers outpaced decliners, 110 to 83, while 54 issues unchanged.