Main stock price index up slightly as investors stay on sidelines

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Local stocks rose in light trading yesterday after President Duterte’s decision to declare martial rule in Mindanao in response to a terrorist attack in the city of Marawi.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.33 percent, or 25.6 points, to 7,837.82 at yesterday’s close. The broader All Shares index was also up 0.2 percent 4,671.49.

Despite the gain, many investors stayed on the sidelines. Total volume hit a little over a billion shares valued at P5.8 billion. Advancers almost equaled decliners, 94 to 97, while 45 companies closed unchanged.

Subsectors also ended mixed with gains led by industrial, up 1.16 percent, followed by property and financial stocks, up 0.9 percent and 0.21 percent, respectively. Mining and oil fell 0.69 percent, followed by services, down 0.36 percent, and holding firms, down 0.19 percent.

Luis Gerado Limlingan, managing director at local stockbrokerage Regina Capital Development, said developments in Mindanao “did little to upset trading” yesterday.

“The sudden declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao last night did not spook investors with the index closing in the green with sentiment buoyed by US stocks closing narrowly higher and the S&P 500 logging its first four-day winning streak since mid-February on the back of strength across the financials,” he said.

Among the actively traded stocks were Universal Robina Corp. (up 2.97 percent), Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (down 1.24 percent) and Ayala Land Inc. (up 2.23 percent).

Gainers were led by Vitarich Corp. (up 14.04 percent), Ionics Inc. (up 10.76 percent) and Manila Mining (up 9.09 percent).

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