• PH shares rally on earnings, US data


    Philippine share prices advanced on Wednesday by more than 2 percent, with sentiment driven by strong company earnings results and positive US manufacturing data.

    The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) rose 2.27 percent or 152.92 points to close at 6, 882.45, while the wider All Shares gained 1.74 percent or 67.68 points to finish at 3, 968.75.

    “The positive performance of the stock market is attributable to various factors such as good corporate earnings results and bargain hunting,” Victor Felix, analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said in a phone interview.

    Felix explained that the income realized by conglomerate Metro Pacific Investment Corporation, BDO Unibank Inc. and SM Investment Corp., which all reported double-digit growth for last year were the main drivers of Wednesday’s trade.

    “These strong results are in line with the market’s expectations. Thus the market was upbeat,” Felix said.

    Foreign investors also came in to pick up local shares following positive news from the US such as the manufacturing data result, which was in line with consensus.

    “We can also see that foreign investors are coming back into the country’s equities market as compared with last Monday’s sell-off [at P502 million],” Felix said.

    On Wednesday, net foreign buying was strong at P1.047 billion.

    “We see slightly bullish sentiment for the entire month [March],” he added.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital and Development Corp., attributed the local bourse’s strong performance to the US manufacturing data, which rose on the back of construction spending and higher auto sales.

    “Positive economic data from the US has encouraged investors to buy [from the local market]today, even though China’s economy is still weakening… Moody’s downgrade of its outlook on Chinese government debt to negative from stable was insufficient to dishearten the market since it [downgrade]was already expected,” Limlingan said.

    SB Equities, in a note said the PSEi is expected to continue trading between 6,600 and 7,000 points, with volume seen picking up further. It added that US economic data and relatively stable oil prices boosted overall investor sentiment.

    Total value turnover on the Philippine market was strong at P9.419 billion, with winners outnumbering losers 117 to 71, while 29 issues remained unchanged.

    All sub-indices ended on the green side, with the services sector posting the highest gain of 3.01 percent.


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