GDP report expected to lift market

Share prices are expected to move sideways this week, as investors trade defensively amid global geopolitical tensions, but the release of second-quarter gross domestic product data could lift the benchmark index above the 8,000-point mark.

BDO Unibank Inc. chief investment strategist Jonathan Ravelas said investors were awaiting the release of the second-quarter GDP figures on Aug. 17.

“Chartwise, the week’s close at 7,928.43 continues to highlight that the market has strong support at the 7,850/7,900 levels. Expect another attempt of the 8,000 levels,” Ravelas said.

Online brokerage firm 2TradeAsia.com said investors were on a wait-and-see mode, looking for the next catalyst such as the passage of the proposed tax reforms and rollout of infrastructure projects under the government’s ‘Build Build Build’ program.

These catalysts, 2TradeAsia.com said, could influence valuation outlook towards 2018.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, ended flat last week at 7,928.43 points, while the broader all-share index dropped to 4,681.81, on escalating tension between the US and North Korea and following the release of mixed corporate earnings.

Foreign investors remained net buyers last week by P1.18 billion. Average daily turnover eased to P6.1 billion from the previous week’s average of P6.6 billion.

Top gainers last week were Security Bank Corp. which climbed 9.6 percent to P252, PLDT Inc. which advanced 6.7 percent to P1,740 and SM Investments Corp. which rose 3.7 percent to P829.

The initial public offering of businessman Dennis Uy’s Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. disappointed subscribers, as the stock fell 1.1 percent on listing day and 10.2 percent in the week to settle at P9.58.

Other heavy losers last week were D&L Industries Inc. which declined 16 percent to P10.26, Century Pacific Food Inc. which retreated 11.2 percent to P16.38 and EEI Corp. which fell 10.9 percent to P12.30.