• PH stocks firmer on Wall St support

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    LOCAL equities ended on a mildly positive note on Tuesday as investors followed the lead of advances on Wall Street overnight, and temporarily brushed off uncertainty about the outlook for the second quarter and the possibility of a looming power crisis in the upcoming summer months.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added just 0.1 percent or 8.19 points to close at 7,828.48, while the All Shares index rose 0.18 percent or 8.40 points to 4,553.77.

    Jason Escartin, investment analyst at F. Yap Securities Inc., said that the benchmark Philippine stock index stood little changed above 7,800 points as investors were torn between the positives brought by the US markets’ gains and good corporate earnings and macroeconomic figures locally on one side, and the negatives from worries about power supplies for the summer months on the other.

    “Share prices stood above 7,800, as players continued to weigh the prospects versus challenges for the upcoming second quarter. Also, uncertainty over the harmonized version of the resolution on President Aquino’s special powers during the summer power challenge will be watched, including contingency preparations,” Escartin said.

    Justino Calaycay Jr. of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said the market “sustained the momentum” in Tuesday’s trading, mostly on global leads.

    “The rebound in US stocks, weakness in the [Japanese] yen, and the consumer prices in China provided the early leads to Tuesday’s trades,” Calaycay said.

    He noted that the positive turnout of the net income releases of Puregold Price Club Inc. and Ayala Corp. (AC) was favorable to market sentiment, while the stock of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) was on the roll with a gain of more than 4 percent, from the losses posted in the past few days due to the unsettled arbitration issue involving its water subsidiary, Maynilad Water Services Inc.

    Among the sectoral indices, only the industrial and mining and oil counters were down, while the rest gained, led by a 0.51-percent advance in the services subindex.

    BDO Unibank Inc. and Universal Robina Corp. were the most active losers, while the other issues among the day’s 10 most active all gained. Active advancers included Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, AC, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Alliance Global Group Inc., MPIC, SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Puregold.

    Trade volume reached 3.25 billion shares, valued at P9.08 billion. Gainers outnumbered decliners 97 to 71, while 40 issues finished unchanged.

    On Monday, the main PSEi dropped 0.52 percent or 41.04 points to close at 7,820.29, while the All Shares index slipped 0.45 percent or 20.62 points to settle at 4,545.37.

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