PH SHARES OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEK: Gains sustained on inflation cheer

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Philippine stocks are expected to extend gains this week following Friday’s strong finish, which saw the index breaching the 6,900-point level as investors cheered the lower-than-expected June inflation figure and robust US jobs data.

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“We are going to see some momentum primarily on the inflation figure,” Lexter Azurin, research analyst at Unicapital Securities Inc., said in a text message.

The Philippine Statistics Authority on Friday said that inflation in June eased to 4.4 percent, from 4.5 percent in May, and came in below the market consensus of 4.6 percent.

But it was still higher than the year-earlier rate of 2.7 percent and came in near the upper end of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecast of 4.1-4.5 percent.

Nonetheless, Azurin said stock market investors are likely to see no immediate threat of an interest rate hike, based on the easing of the inflation figure.

For this week, Azurin added that investors may also look at the minutes of the US Federal Open Market Committee June meeting, due for release on July 9, for fresh leads.

Relief over the slower inflation number fueled buying in stocks on Friday, sending the main index past the 6,900-mark to close at its highest level since May 2013.

“[Now, the local stock market] has the momentum to try the 7,000 to 7,200 levels,” Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist of BDO Unibank Inc., said.

On Friday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished at 6,962.28, up 62.97 points or 0.91 percent, while the wider all shares added 29.50 points or 0.71 percent to 6,962.28.

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