PHL shares open directionless as players seek leads

Philippine shares firmed up a bit after weak opening weak on Wednesday as investors search for a fresh catalyst to fuel the market.

"We opened weak by almost two points from yesterday's close but slightly recovered..." Jeng T. Calma, operations head at A&A Securities Inc., told GMA News Online.

"The market doesn't know where to go as it already digested news over the past two days. It seems to trade... directionless... today and may end sideways," she added.

The main PSEi opened at 6,446.89, down 0.02 percent, then went up by 16.75 points or 0.26 percent to 6,464.93 as of 10:18 a.m.

"The market is up but volume still remains thin. What drove the index up are two issues—Petron Corp. due to overnight prices of crude oil, and SM Investments due to merger hype," Gregg Ilag, analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., told GMA News Online in a separate interview.

Petron was up 2.96 percent in early trades, while SM Investments Corp. added 2.65 percent.

In his daily report, Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst Justino B. Calaycay said "leads continue to be dry from the domestic front.

"Inflation numbers, due to be released later in the week, should not pose a strong influence on trading unless it pulls a huge surprise—meaning the numbers go off the charts—something the market, nor the keen watchers of the economy seem to anticipate," he added. — VS, GMA News