Business World - - Front Page - By Denise A. Valdez Se­nior Re­porter

THE MAIN IN­DEX closed with gains on Mon­day as in­vestors’ at­ten­tion re­mained glued to for­eign events due to the lack of a strong lo­cal catalyst.

The bench­mark Philip­pine Stock Ex­change in­dex ( PSEi) picked up 5.44 points or 0.09% to close at 5,937.05 on Mon­day, while the wider all shares in­dex in­creased 7.97 points or 0.22% to end at 3,571.82. The in­dex hit an in­tra­day high of 5,954.47 and a low of 5,910.73.

Due to the ab­sence of a lo­cal im­pe­tus dur­ing trad­ing hours, the mar­ket’s move­ment was pre­dom­i­nantly driven by in­ter­na­tional events on Mon­day, Tim­son Se­cu­ri­ties, Inc. Trader Dar­ren T. Pan­gan said.

“The in­dex ended on green ter­ri­tory… as mar­ket par­tic­i­pants watched the Chi­nese yuan closely, af­ter the Peo­ple’s Bank of China moved to lower the cur­rency’s for­ward re­serve re­quire­ments over the week­end,” he said in a text mes­sage.

China’s cen­tral bank said it will lower the re­serve re­quire­ment ra­tio for fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions when con­duct­ing some for­eign ex­change for­wards trad­ing to zero with ef­fect from Mon­day, Reuters re­ported.

Un­der cur­rent rules, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions must set aside 20% of the pre­vi­ous month’s yuan for­wards set­tle­ment amount as for­eign ex­change risk re­serves.

Hopes for ad­di­tional fis­cal stim­u­lus in the United States also helped lift in­vestor sen­ti­ment on Mon­day, Regina Cap­i­tal De­vel­op­ment

Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Lim­lin­gan said.

“The PSEi started slightly higher as in­vestors re­mained op­ti­mistic over prospects for an­other round of fis­cal stim­u­lus from (US) Congress even­tu­ally,” Mr. Lim­lin­gan said in a mo­bile mes­sage.

Back home, in­vestors con­tin­ued to wait for sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ments in the na­tional bud­get talks, which are sched­uled to re­sume this week, Phil­stocks Fi­nan­cial, Inc. Re­search As­so­ciate Claire T. Alviar said in a text mes­sage.

“Pos­si­ble 2021 bud­get pas­sage de­lay would give neg­a­tive sen­ti­ment in the mar­ket,” she said.

Most sec­toral in­dices ended Mon­day’s ses­sion with gains. Min­ing and oil rose 202.21 points or 3.08% to 6,766; prop­erty added 21.84 points or 0.79% to 2,754.72; in­dus­tri­als in­creased 42.60 points or 0.53% to 7,974.14; ser­vices climbed 6.05 points or 0.41% to 1,461.77; and fi­nan­cials inched up 2.71 points or 0.23% to 1,162.41.

The sole de­clin­ing in­dex was hold­ing firms, which fell 38.15 points or 0.61% to 6,164.53 at the close of trad­ing.

Value turnover on Mon­day stood at P5.34 bil­lion with 11.13 bil­lion is­sues switch­ing hands, lower than Fri­day’s P5.63 bil­lion worth of 9.16 bil­lion is­sues.

Ad­vancers out­num­bered de­clin­ers, 105 against 96, while 42 names ended un­changed.

For­eign in­vestors recorded their 22nd straight day of net sell­ing worth P436.79 mil­lion on Mon­day, lower than Fri­day’s P676.51 mil­lion. —

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