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Stocks inch higher as market waits for fresh leads

STOCKS inched up on Tuesday as the market waits for fresh leads, with US inflation data and the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) report due for release this week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 21.87 points or 0.33% to close at 6,622.61 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index went up by 6.69 points or 0.19% to 3,532.33.

“The index was practically flat… as many investors turned cautious and remained on the sidelines ahead of US April inflation and Philippine first-quarter GDP data releases this week,” China Bank Capital Corp. Managing Director Juan Paolo E. Colet said in a Viber message.

“The market will need positive catalysts to preserve last week’s gains and encourage another attempt at the 6,700 resistance zone… We expect lower US inflation figures and higher local GDP growth to help boost investor sentiment,” Mr. Colet added.

April US consumer price index (CPI) data will be released on Wednesday.

The US CPI climbed 0.1% in March after advancing 0.4% in February.

In the 12 months through March, the CPI increased 5%, down from 6% in February.

Meanwhile, Philippine first-quarter GDP data will come out on Thursday.

A BusinessWorld poll of 23 economists conducted last week yielded a median estimate of 6.1% for first-quarter GDP growth. This would be slower than revised 7.1% growth in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the 8% expansion recorded in the same period last year.

The government targets 6-7% GDP growth for this year.

“The market is riding on this current short-term uptrend as it is aided by positive domestic fundamentals. Economic numbers have been mixed but generally positive… However, the market doesn’t seem convinced as market rallies have been muted and are accompanied by thin volume. The lack of momentum will make it hard for the PSEi to break out from its long-term downtrend line,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said in a Viber message.

The majority of sectoral indices rose on Tuesday, except for services, which dropped by 10.46 points or 0.66% to 1,570.45, and financials, which fell by 5.65 points or 0.3% to 1,861.10.

Meanwhile, property went up by 23.55 points or 0.86% to 2,740.66; holding firms rose by 48.05 points or 0.74% to 6,535.66; mining and oil increased by 57.23 points or 0.54% to 10,611.51; and industrials gained 4.96 points or 0.05% to end at 9,576.02.

Value turnover dropped to P4.18 billion on Tuesday with 325.79-million shares changing hands from the P5.87 billion with 718.19-million issues traded on Monday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 86 versus 73, while 71 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying rose to P110.95 million on Tuesday from P8.87 million on Monday. — A.H. Halili

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