PH shares rise on global optimism

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The Philippine bourse sustained its momentum Thursday, advancing by more than 1 percent on the back of strong US jobs data and higher oil prices, as well as a carry-over effect of healthy local corporate earnings results.

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The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) gained 1.18 percent or 80.99 points to close at 6, 963.44, while the wider All Shares rose 1 percent or 39.52 points to finish at 4, 008.27.

“The positive news in the foreign markets further encouraged buying as fears about the status of the oil industry have somewhat dissipated,” Astro del Castillo, president and managing director of First Grade Finance Inc., said in a phone interview.

US oil prices increased further by 9 cents to $34.75 a barrel. Investors focused on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) plan to freeze crude production at current levels.

“Given less worries in some environments, foreign fund managers are returning to emerging markets such as the Philippines,” he added.

Del Castillo also said positive corporate earnings results likewise had a positive carry-over effect on share prices, spurring buying interest.

Lester Azurin, head of research at Unicapital Securities Inc., attributed the strong market’s performance largely to better-than-expected US jobs data, as well as the prospect of
China’s stimulus package to boost its slowing economy.

US jobs data showed that companies there added some 214,000 jobs in February, which exceeded analysts’ expectations.

“Sentiment is quite positive, which can be attributed to good news overseas. Therefore, concerns have eased, and thus, some investors took advantage of these developments to get back into the market,” Azurin said.

Total value turnover on the PSEi reached P8.939 billion, with winners edging out losers 106 to 71, and 43 issues remaining unchanged.

All sub-indices ended in green except for mining and oil firms, which declined by 1.26 percent.

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