Market flat; water issues take center stage anew

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    Stocks ended flat yesterday despite losses in financials and real estate sectors in early trade.

    Sentiment was hit after the central bank governor signaled a cut in the benchmark interest rate by “at least 50 basis points” in 2020.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was up 3.22 points or by 0.04 percent to 7,733.67.

    The broader all shares index was up 4.93 points or by 0.11 percent to 4,587.99.

    Gainers edged losers 93 to 91 with 59 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P7.8 billion.

    The peso closed at 50.631 to the dollar, down from 50.58 on Tuesday.

    The currency opened at 50.57, hit a high of 50.56 and a low of 50.65. Trading turnover reached $292.5 million.

    Gabriel Jose Perez, trader at Papa Securities Corp., said the market went up in late session after trading down in most of the session.

    “The market was once again fixated on the ‘water stocks’ which surged today by 14 percent, 9.4 percent, and 9.6 percent, respectively on the recent news by the DOJ (Department of Justice) they were not planning to replace the water concessionaires. Note however that MWC (Manila Water Co. Inc.) took the spot for the highest NFS (net foreign selling) print of P213 million. We expect continued volatility for these names in the coming days especially since price movements have been heavily event-driven,” Limlingan said.
    “Seems like the market is intent on keeping the 7,700 support alive with the past two closes being buy ups to above this level,” he added.

    Most actively traded Manila Water was up P0.85 to P6.85. Ayala Land Inc. was steady at P45.75. BDO Unibank Inc. was down P3 to P158. Bank of the Philippine Islands was down P1.50 to P83.10. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was up P0.15 to P40.65. Ayala Corp. was down P2 to P758. International Container Terminal Services Inc. was down P2 to P133. SM Investments Corp. was up P5 to P1,055. Alliance Global Group Inc. was up P0.04 to P11.36. Metro Pacific Investments Corp. was up P0.30 to P3.49.