Stocks winding down for the year

Published December 21, 2020, 5:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

The stock market is seen to start winding down for the year with only six trading days remaining.

“We see a downward bias for the local market with a possible testing of the 7,150 support level. The market remains overvalued making it susceptible to profit taking,” said Philstocks Financial Senior Analyst Japhet Tantiangco.

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He added that, “Investors may book gains ahead of the upcoming holidays especially if there would be no positive catalyst for the market.”

Offshore worries including a possible no-deal Brexit and the US Congress’ economic stimulus negotiations, if it would not translate into a deal, may also weigh on sentiments.

“Positive catalysts that may tilt the market to the upside next week are progress on fiscal policies planned to support the economy next year, narratives that would point to the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines soon, and the resolving of the offshore matters aforementioned,” said Tantiangco.

Online brokerage said there is also concern over a possible surge in COVID cases during

the holidays and if this will force authorities to impose stricter restrictions again.

It added that, “There should be close consideration on turnover buildup in the coming sessions, as the mood turns to last minute shopping, especially from funds intending to do some year-end window dressing.”

“Take the expected volume swings during the last 5 days of the trading year as opportunities to range trade,” said.

  Abacus Securities Corporation is recommending a buy on Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation as “it should benefit from pent up demand going forward. Although the economy won’t fully return to normal next year, our view is that mobility, and thus demand for fuel, will improve significantly. By 2022, fuel volumes should have at least returned to pre- pandemic levels.” 

 Also, Abacus said that, since its refinery has been shut down, “Shell, therefore, starts 2021 with a clean slate and with a purely distribution-based business model, the huge swings in earnings should be a thing of the past. Furthermore, SHLPH will have less carrying costs and lower working capital requirements.”

 COL Financial said that, “While the fundamental outlook of the Philippine stock market is not attractive across the board, some sectors that could perform well in 2021.”

 These include stocks with high dividend yields such us telcos, utilities and REITs as investors search for yields; banks, because of the improving outlook of the economy and the relatively cheap valuation of banking stocks; property companies with attractive office leasing portfolios as they unlock the value of their office properties through REIT listings. 

  “Aside from subscribing to new REITs, we think it is wise for investors to buy stocks of property companies that will list REITs. Companies that have announced plans to list REITs include DD, RLC and MEG. Note that the listing of REITs will not only allow these companies to unlock the value of their office properties, but also allow them to recycle capital, helping them further expand their leasing portfolios,” the online brokerage said.