PH shares up on global leads, URC acquisition

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Shares rebounded on Wednesday following positive global leads and the optimism brought by Universal Robina Corp’s. (URC) acquisition of a leading snack food manufacturer in New Zealand.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.33 percent or 22.98 points to end at 6,892.92, while the broader All Shares index added 0.24 percent or 9.90 points to 4,125.69.

Joyce Anne Ramos, equity analyst at AB Capital Securities, Inc., said in a text message that the local market relied mostly on foreign market gains in the absence of “domestic market-moving news.”

“We just followed overseas market leads. Bullish sentiment about URC’s acquisition of NZFHL also contributed to the rebound,” Ramos said.

In line with URC’s aim to become a major regional player in the snack food business, the local firm took over NZ Snack Food Holdings Limited (NZFHL) priced at 700 million New Zealand dollars. NZFHL holds Griffin’s Foods Limited, which is the leading snack food firm in New Zealand. Griffin’s has built strong market in Asia and has growing presence in Australia.

URC’s shares gained P7.50 to close at P165.50 apiece, a 4.75-percent increase on the day’s trade which contributed 16.98 points to the benchmark stocks’ climb, Ramos said.

All but one of the sectoral indices ended higher, with only financials slipping, ending 0.35 percent or 5.80 points lower to close at 1,645.82. Industrials improved by 1.49 percent or 155.29 points to 6,175.63; holding firms inched up 0.15 percent or 9.06 points to 6,184.69; and services were up minimally by 0.18 percent or 3.71 points to 2,093.04. Mining and oil advanced 142.11 points or 0.86 percent to 16,758.64, while property gained 3.41 points or 0.13 percent to close at 2,600.28.

Heavily-traded shares included Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, which remained unchanged at P3,038. Besides URC, gainers on the day included Alliance Global Group Inc., up by 0.93 percent or P0.25 to P27 each; Philex Mining Corp. by 3.96 percent or P0.48 to P12.60; Nickel Asia Corp by 2.75 percent or P0.95 to P35.50; SM Investments Corp. by 0.64 percent or P5 to P782; and Cosco Capital Inc. by 2.24 percent or P0.22 to P10.02.

Shares that registered losses, on the other hand, were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, down 1.45 percent or P1.30 to P88.50; BDO Unibank, which slipped 0.05 percent or P0.05 to P90.95; and Ayala Corp., which shed 0.61 percent or P4 to close at P657. Volume traded was at 960.6 million shares, valued at P6.7 billion.

Gainers just outnumbered losers, 82 to 80, while 65 shares did not move.

“Sideways movement of the market might persist as participants are still looking for catalysts to push the market up. The PSEi [Philippine Stock Exchange index] will most likely rely on global sentiment for direction in the coming days,” AB Capital’s Ramos said.

Ramos noted that immediate support and resistance levels are at 6,815 and 6,900, respectively, while support and resistance for the next few days are at 6,765 and 6,940.

On Tuesday, the PSEi was down 4.94 points or 0.07 percent at 6,869.94, while the All Shares index also slipped 4.20 points or 0.10 percent to 4,115.79.

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