Stocks to trade sideways amid holiday break

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Philippine stocks are expected to trade sideways on thin trading during this shortened trading week.

Financial markets will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the Holy Week.

Online brokerage firm said the market should brace for quarter-end window-dressing activities and potential lower trading volume ahead of the Lenten season.

“As markets officially bids adieu to Q1, take stock lessons learned in early 2024 to guide decisions for mid-year: more data have titled markets towards more positive outlook in both marco and corporate earnings, but is it also crucial to group expectations and limit exposure to quality,” said

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) is seen trading between 6,800 and 7,000 points this week.

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Michael Ricafort, chief economist from Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. said the latest mixed signals on local authorities on the possibility of reduced local policy rate hikes for 2024 at around two, instead of four, that could indicate higher-for-longer interest rate stance, also affected investor sentiment.

The PSEi climbed 59 points, or 0.87 percent, to close at 6,881 last week, even as the US Federal Reserve kept key rates unchanged at 5.25 percent to 5.50 percent.

US stocks reached new record highs on renewed optimism towards rate cut by the second half of the year.

Average turnover declined by 38 percent to P5.44 billion, while foreign investors turned net buyers with net buying reaching an average of P95 million.

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