MANILA, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine stock market ended the year with marginal gains on the back of extended window dressing.
Window dressing is a strategy adopted by portfolio managers near the end of the season to improve the appearance of the portfolio or fund.
On Friday, the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 0.2 percent, or 11.51 points, to 5,889.83, while the broader all-share index rose by 0.33 percent, or 11.79 points, to 3,614.32.
Trading volume reached 2.14 billion shares worth 6.38 billion pesos (143.81 million U.S. dollars) with 91 stocks advancing, 70 declining and 48 were unchanged.
Of the six counters, only the financials and the mining and oil sectors bucked the trend.
"The market dug too deep a hole following the speech made by ( United States Federal Reserve chairman) Ben Bernanke in May as sentiments turned volatile with a negative bias," said analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. in his daily stock market comment.
"Hence, it became a tough challenge to restore the same degree of optimism that showed in the months prior to the day the hints on tapering were first dropped publicly," Calaycay added.
Nevertheless, he complimented the local index's ability to keep its head above water, eventually closing out trades just marginally above the 2012-close.
"While this may seem overbearingly bearish when viewed from where the market was headed in the January-to-May period, we find some consolation, if not evidence, that the bull remains in play," Calaycay said.
The key issues that caused sentiments to swing from optimism to pessimism was the tapering of the U.S. Fed as well as domestic issues that rocked the local equities. These include typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, which preoccupied investors' minds for quite some time.
Calaycay said he expects investors to be positive next year especially since corporate earnings, which have the highest correlation with stock prices over the long-term, is still expected to continue posting hikes ranging between 20 and 25 percent.
Stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed. Among those picked up were Ayala Land, Inc., heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Ayala Corp.