PH shares recover after FOMC meet

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Although the market is still trading sideways, Philippine shares still managed to pick up a bit after the Federal Reserve wrapped up its two-day policy meeting.

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In a telephone interview, Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance Inc. managing director, said that the local stock market somehow went up as the “Federal Reserve maintained its stance to support bond buying.”

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), after the policy meeting, announced that it will keep its $85-billion-a-month asset buying program to press down longer interest rates that have been helping support growth of the country’s largest economy.

Moreover, the FOMC said in a report that it would keep buying mortgage-backed securities at a monthly pace of $40 billion and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion.

Del Castillo, however, specified that the local market remains “lame,” given the onset of what is traditionally called “ghost month” when investors are usually out for vacation. “In the next few weeks, makikita mo na timid lang ang market [the market will remain timid]as fund managers head for a vacation,” he added.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index registered thin gains on Thursday, rising slowly by 22.32 points, or 0.34 percent to end at 6,661.44, while the wider all-shares index wrapped up the trading session with an 11.28-point gain, or 0.28 percent to 4,053.33.

Of all the sectors, only the property counter slumped as it shed 6.15 points, or 0.24 percent to 2,574.54. The rest of the sub-indices registered slight increases with mining and oil rising by 0.63 percent, or 91.22 points, followed by holding firms, which went up 0.58 percent, or 35.51 points to 6,189.65.

Services posted a 0.42-percent increase, or 8.57 points to 2,043.58, while financials went up 0.34 percent, or 5.33 points to close at 1,579.38. Industrial registered a flat improvement of 0.14 percent, or 13.52 points to 9,870.24.

Total value turnover was a little changed at P5.37 billion, while the gap between the losers and the gainers thinned with the latter dominating, 59 to 79.

Some of the top gainers on Thursday were TKC Steel Corp., ATN Holdings Inc., ISM Communications Corp., Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc., Paxys Inc., Vulcan Industrial and Mining, and Alliance Global Group Inc.

Shortly after the main index recovered from its three-day skid, the local stock market on Wednesday turned cautious on what will be the results of the FOMC.

The main index snapped by 1.32 percent, or 88.88 points to 6,639.12, while the wider all-shares barometer remained on the red side with 1.07-percent decline, or 43.69 points to close at 4,042.05.

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