• PSEi climbs to 25th peak this year

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    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose to new record levels as sentiment received a boost from reports an expected strong typhoon has left the country without incident while foreign funds continued to flow in.

    After setting a fresh intraday peak of 8,062.79, the benchmark stock index shed some of its early gains but closed above 8,000 points for the first time. It settled with a 0.76-percent gain or 60.65 points at 8,053.74, the 25th time this year it finished at a record high.

    The wider All Shares added 0.67 percent or 30.87 points to 4,607.08 Monday’s record broke the previous high of 7,993.09 reached on April 1.

    “Closing above the 8,000 level is significant as it reinforces the favorable view investors have on our market. We are optimistic that the positive local developments and upbeat outlook on listed firms will provide more upside potential for the index,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said.

    Jonathan Ravelas, BDO chief market strategist, said: “Weak payroll numbers in the US gave a boost to equity markets as these could push the lift-off (rate hike) to the latter part of the year; delays in the rate hike will still be a boost to companies earning as interest rate costs still won’t rise.

    “Given the lack of negative news, the market may still try to test the 8,100 to 8,250-point levels in the near term. However, the market has been on a steady rise and may be susceptible to some profit-taking,” Ravelas said.

    Alexander Adrian Tiu of AB Capital Securities Inc. said the market kept its bullish stance “due to positive sentiment” on global development, as well as the weakening of typhoon Chedeng over the weekend and ahead of the release of first-quarter earnings results.

    The “outlook for tomorrow is cautiously bullish as valuations are now high. Investors are likely to look for direction on the March inflation data to be released tomorrow,” Tiu said.

    RCBC Securities Inc. analyst Anton Alfonso said market movers were heavyweights Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and SM Investments Corp., demand for which was “pent-up” during the long holiday weekend.

    “Offhand, I would say [there will be]possible profit-taking but if the market were to go up, probably [it would only]inch up given the record levels,” Alfonso said.

    The financials index fell, while the other indices advanced, led by the services sector, growing by 1.68 percent.

    Other than SM and PLDT, active gainers were Ayala Corp., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Universal Robina Corp., Security Bank Corp., Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and JG Summit Holdings Inc. The other two active companies were BDO Unibank Inc., which dropped, and Energy Development Corp., which ended flat.

    Total volume stood at 2.3 billion shares, valued at P6.5 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners, 92 to 81, while 47 issues were unchanged.

    Last Wednesday before stock trading on the PSE paused for the Holy Week, the PSEi gained 52.60 points or 0.66 percent to settle at 7,993.09, while the All Shares index inched up 16.04 points or 0.35 percent to 4,576.21.

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