The benchmark stock index climbed back above the 7,800-point mark and recorded its 13th record-breaking closing level for this year, driven by a positive turn in the Greek-EU bailout negotiations and local corporate earnings.
The local market tracked the upward turn on the US and Asian markets on the back of news that the anti-bailout administration of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsiparas has sought a loan extension of up to six months from the rest of the eurozone when the current bailout program expires at the end of the month.
“We are optimistic that emerging markets like the Philippines will remain resilient amidst uncertainties in the Eurozone. On the local front, we expect corporate profits and dividend stories to continue to lift the market,” said PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat.
After reaching an intraday peak at 7,840.39, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) eased on some profit-taking and closed with a modest 0.13-percent gain or 10.05 points to 7,803.45. The wider All Shares index likewise advanced by 0.18 percent or 8.11 points to 4,530.76.
The intraday and closing figures on Wednesday were higher than the previous intraday peak of 7,807.71 on February 10 and the 7,793.40 close on Tuesday, February 17.
In the year-to-date, the PSEi has gained 7.9 percent from its close of 7,230.57 on December 29 last year, the last trading day of 2014.
Alexander Adrian Tiu, analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said the market was pushed by generally strong earnings results so far, and especially by the positive reports on the Greek bailout.
“We already pushed past the 7,800 psychological resistance due to a much more bullish sentiment, mainly coming from Greece’s indications that they are willing to compromise to arrive at a decision [on extending an EU bailout package],” Tiu said.
“It is bullish for the global and local markets in general. The catastrophe was already overcome, for Greece. Aside from that, local earnings results are pushing the market.
Investors are positioning ahead of more positive earnings and dividends,” he added.
With the other major companies yet to release their earnings results, Tiu said that the stock market is poised to go higher, with 7,800 points as the major support level and resistance at between 7,900 points and 8,000 points.
“As predicted, the market breached 7,800. Usually, once the main resistance is overcome it becomes the main support level. So 7,900 to 8,000 will be the next target. Whether we would maintain is in question. I think the market is subject for pullback on Friday, when the market resumes after the holiday Thursday,” he said.
Today’s trading (February 19) will be suspended to give way to the Chinese New Year festivities. The market will resume on Friday, February 20.
“There’s still room for upside. We’ll experience scale-back on some profit-taking, but the PSEi will be mainly positive as investors will watch out for the earnings releases,” Tiu said.
Only the financials and mining and oil sectors were down, by 0.34 percent and 1.31 percent, respectively, while the rest of the sectoral counters advanced, led by the 0.50-percent increase in the property counter.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Nickel Asia Corp., and Megaworld Corp. were the most actively traded losing issues on Wednesday, while the top gainers were Ayala Land Inc., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Universal Robina Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., and Emperador Inc.
Total volume reached 3.9 billion shares, with an aggregate value of P7.58 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 95 to 93, while 41 issues were unchanged.
On Tuesday, the PSEi recorded its 12th closing high for the year, up 8.75 points or 0.11 percent at 7,793.40, while the All Shares index also added 12.50 points or 0.28 percent to close at 4,522.65.