PH shares close at record high

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PSEi at 7,402.72 pts, up 0.48%

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Philippine shares rose in Friday trade, driving the benchmark index to a new record close after it hit an all-time intraday high on optimism fueled by overnight gains on the US markets and cooling domestic inflation.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished at 7,402.72 points, up 35.09 points or 0.48 percent. It broke the previous record of 7,392.20, reached on May 15, 2013.

The index also set a new intraday high of 7,446.66 in morning trade, surpassing the previous intraday record of 7,413.62, hit on September 25 last year.

The All Shares index gained 15.01 points or 0.35 percent to settle at 4,336.90.

Total volume of trade was 2.9 billion shares, valued at P10.3 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 99 to 91, while 42 issues closed unchanged.

Joseph Roxas, president of Eagle Equities, said investors welcomed the positive performance of the US markets and viewed the year ahead with expectations of a booming economy while inflation remained tempered by falling oil prices.

Headline Philippine inflation in December slowed to 2.7 percent from 3.7 percent in November and 4.1 percent a year earlier.

Joyce Anne Ramos, analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., attributed the intraday and closing record numbers to the “New Year cheer,” noting that the PSEi has been advancing for 10 days since late 2014.

Ramos said investors are now “positioning ahead of the annual dividend issuances of companies in the first quarter,” and are poised to buy on dips over the next few days.

Roxas and Ramos said there may be “some correction” and a “slight pull back” in the short term, particularly next week. But they added that the first quarter will still be robust due to a positive outlook on the Philippine economy and the equities market.

Sub-indices mixed

The sectoral indices were mixed, with financials, holding firms and services in positive territory while industrials, mining and oil and property were in the red.

The top 10 traded companies included advancers namely TEL, GTCAP, MBT, SM, PGOLD, URC, BDO and AC, while MEG stood flat, and ALI dipped.

On Thursday, the benchmark index closed up 0.79 percent or 57.93 points at 7,367.63, while the wider All Shares index rose 0.45 percent or 19.27 points to 4,321.89.

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