PH shares welcome week with gains

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Even if there’s not much improvement on the local side, Philippine shares greeted the week on the green side amid mixed movements in the regional markets.

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But Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc., which listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, saw it shares plummeting sharply by 44.41 percent to P98.95 apiece.

Abbygaile Estrella, equities analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said in a phone interview that the weak jobs data released in the United States somehow replenished expectations that the monetary stimulus program of US Federal Reserve will be sustained.

Data showing that the US economy added a merely 74,000 jobs in December, well below the consensus estimate of 197,000, was released over the weekend. Moreover, the US unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent from 7 percent in November.

“We have reversed the losses because over the weekend, topics about US jobs data have been all around. Somehow, it affected the expectations that the Fed’s stimulus program will sustain,” Estrella said.

In December, the Fed said it would cut its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion in January.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index started the week on a positive note, rising by 1.67 percent, or 97.79 points to 5,940.67, while the wider all-shares index went up by 0.87 percent, or 31.26 points to 3,628.57.

Moreover, all the sectoral indices made significant improvements with financials going up by 1.96 percent, or 27.66 points to 1,439.32. Holding firms also gained 1.96 percent, or 103.77 points to 5,392.17.

Next were mining and oil, which expanded by 1.79 percent, or 227.25 points to 12,952.79, and property, which posted a 1.40-percent growth, or 31.14 points to 2,259.69. Industrial also registered an improvement, climbing by 1.28 percent, or 112.59 points to end at 8,883.35, while services rose by 0.66 percent, or 12.37 points to 1,880.33.

However, total value turnover didn’t change much and ended at P5.9 billion. Advancers beat decliners, 103 to 57, while 40 issues were unchanged.

Some of the top gainers on Monday were SM Prime Holdings Inc., Universal Robina Corp., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., BDO Unibank Inc., Globe Telecom Inc., SM Investments Corp., DMCI Holdings Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Megaworld Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp., Ayala Corp., First Gen Corp. and Manila Water Co.

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