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Shares to move sideways as market waits for leads


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PHILIPPINE SHARES are expected to move sideways this week as trading resumes after an extended break ahead of key economic data.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 16.47 points or 0.25% to close at 6,488.51 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index went up by 4.78 points or 0.13% to end at 3,486.74.

Week on week, however, the PSEi decreased by 11.17 points or 0.17% from its close of 6,499.68 on March 31.

Philippine financial markets were closed from April 6-10 due to nonworking days in observance of Holy Week and to commemorate the Day of Valor.

The PSEi declined last week as investors opted to pocket their gains and reset and recalibrate strategies for this quarter “amid [macroeconomic] uncertainties,” online brokerage 2TradeAsia.com said in a report.

For this week, investors may continue to stay on the sidelines ahead of key data releases and with the market’s focus shifting to the next meetings of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and US Federal Reserve, 2TradeAsia.com said.

At home, the Philippine Statistics Authority is set to release February trade, manufacturing and labor data this week.

In the United States, the March consumer price index report will be released on April 12, while March producer price index data will come out on April 13.

“First quarter GDP (gross domestic product) data will not be available until May 11 — this will be about a week after the next Fed meeting (May 2-3) and just after the BSP’s board meeting (May 18). Earnings results for the first quarter of 2023 will be around this time as well,” it said.

“The relative monotone in April and crucial macro movements in May will likely pressure prudent funds to withhold deployments… until the broader picture becomes more conductive for bolder plays. Speculations and corporate-specific stories might take the spotlight until then,” the online brokerage added.

The Fed last month raised interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) to the 4.75%-5% range.

It has hiked rates by 475 bps since March 2022.

Meanwhile, the BSP last month increased borrowing costs by 25 bps as inflation remains elevated, bringing its key rate to 6.25%.

Since May 2022, the central bank has raised rates by 425 bps.

Trading volume could improve this week “as investors may be more comfortable entering into new positions after the long weekend,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Director Rastine Mackie D. Mercado said in an e-mail.

Value turnover was at P11.46 billion with 5.24 billion shares changing hands on Wednesday, lower than the previous week’s value turnover of P32.18 billion with 4.80 billion issues traded.

Mr. Mercado placed the PSEi’s support at 6,400 to 6,420 and resistance at 6,600-6,640, while 2TradeAsia.com puts immediate support at 6,400 and resistance at 6,650-6,750. — A.H. Halili

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