PSEi ends above 6,700 on upbeat earnings, data

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LOCAL shares rose on Friday, with investors heartened by positive domestic and international developments as trading resumed after the Labor Day break.

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On the last day of the trading week, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 35.06 points or 0.52 percent to 6,742.97. The broader all shares index climbed by 17.84 points or 0.44 percent to 4,068.96.

Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance managing director, said a “string of good news” including the positive first-quarter earnings of PSE-listed companies, the country’s strong economic data, and expectations of manageable inflation this month were the drivers for the stock market’s modest uptick.

Del Castillo said that another incentive for buying was the apparent improvement in the United States economy because it indicates that the global economy is also on the mend.

He said the US Federal Reserve’s decision to continue to taper the pace of its bond purchases can also be considered a good news for investors.

“The good news brought about by continued tapering is that it indicates that the US economy has recovered, which in return will have a possible effect on global economy,” he said.

After a two-day meeting in Washington, the Fed announced that it would continue cutting its monthly purchases of US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities by a further $10 billion to $45 billion from an original $85 billion a month, the fourth reduction by the US central bank in its monthly quantitative easing program.

“The outlook for the next trading week is that the stock market will still be positive, moving toward the 6,800 level. Corporate earnings will be the main driver and economic data abroad could somehow possibly influence also,” del Castillo added.

All sectoral indices were up on Friday but only mining and oil gained more than 1 percent.

Mining and oil climbed 356.19 points or 2.27 percent to 16,036.90. The property sector gained 20.05 points or 0.76 percent to 2,463.78, while financials rose 10.99 points or 0.69 percent to 1,600.88.

Services advanced 20.06 points or 0.99 percent to 2,054.08. Holding firms added 3.01 points or 0.05 percent to 6,135.15, while industrials gained 33.24 points or 0.33 percent to 10,105.90.

Trading volume expanded to 1.6 billion shares valued at P6.5 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners, 112 to 37.

Some of the most actively traded stocks on Friday were SM Prime Holdings Inc., BDO Unibank Inc., Alliance Global Group Inc., SM Investments Corp., and Ayala Land Inc.

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