The local stock barometer inched up due to last-minute buying in thin trade on Friday as investors across the region remained largely jittery on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 4.66 points or 0.09 percent to close at 5,346.97. Elsewhere in the region, most stock markets ended lower.

For the week, the PSEi ma­naged to gain 80.35 points or 1.5 percent.

Local stock brokerage Papa Securities said sentiment might continue to remain damp as local COVID-19 cases continued to spike. At the same time, it noted uncertainties on whe­ther the monthlong lockdown of Luzon would be extended.

Heavy resistance remains at the 5,500 to 6,000 area for the index, the brokerage said.

“Support for the index, should it correct, continues to be at the 5,000 level, the lower bound of the sideways range we could see in the near-term,” it added.

The PSEi was lifted by the industrial, services and mining/oil counters, which all rose by over 1 percent. The holding firm counter added 0.58 percent.

On the other hand, the cyclical financial and property counters fell by 0.93 percent and 1.39 percent, respectively.

Value turnover for the day was thin at P4 billion. Foreigners remained mostly sellers, resulting in a net foreign outflow of P570.32 million.

There were 98 advancers that outnumbered 74 decliners, while 39 stocks were unchanged.

Grocery chain operator Puregold outperformed for the day, gaining 6.32 percent. Utility Meralco likewise boosted the PSEi with its 3.45-percent gain.

Globe Telecom and PLDT both added over 2 percent, while Universal Robina rose by 1.48 percent.

The day’s most actively traded company, conglomerate Ayala Corp., rose by 0.22 percent.

SM Investments and BPI also slightly gained.

On the other hand, property developer Megaworld tumbled by 4.18 percent.

SM Prime, ICTSI, Metrobank and Security Bank all lost over 2 percent.

GT Capital shed 1.04 percent, while Ayala Land, BDO and Metro Pacific all declined by less than 1 percent. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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