• PSEi hits new high on ECB stimulus


    Philippine shares rose to new record levels as the market tracked a global market rally in reaction to the launch of a multi-billion dollar monthly bond-buying program of the European Central Bank (ECB) to stimulate the eurozone economies.

    The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) broke its previous intraday and closing highs and settled at a new record of 7,548.93 points, up 1.79 percent or 132.62 points in Friday trade. The wider All Shares index advanced 1.55 percent or 67.18 points to 4,403.42.

    The new levels broke the previous intraday record of 7,531.94 reached on January 21, and the previous record close of 7,490.88 posted on January 14.

    Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance Inc. managing director, said the market started advancing on the ECB’s announcement of its own quantitative easing or bond buying program during the morning session.

    “Mainly, we got a boost from the move of the ECB — the reported bond-buying program.

    Definitely, it has boosted the global market, as well as the other (markets), as the ECB supports the economies of European countries,” Del Castillo said.

    Share prices also showed late trade reaction to news of lower fourth-quarter inflation — easing to 3.6 percent from 4.7 percent in the third quarter.

    The prevailing optimism is reflected by the “momentum in buying” which is currently supporting the local equities market, Del Castillo said.

    “Especially now, investors are excited about the full-year corporate earnings results. We may see some momentum buying. In the following days, we may even trek higher than 7,500,” he added.

    Sectoral indices ended the week in positive territory, with property and holding firms leading with 2.10 percent and 2.05 percent gains, respectively.

    JGS was the most active advancer, bouncing from its 11-percent slump the previous day and now advancing 2.09 percent. Two other big gainers were Xurpas Inc. and ABS-CBN Holdings Corp., which surged 5.92 percent to close at P12.16 and 6.49 percent to P51.65, respectively.

    Total trade volume was 2.42 billion shares, valued at P11.66 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 114 to 68, while 42 issues finished unchanged.

    On Thursday, the benchmark stock index fell 0.77 percent or 57.79 points to 7,416.31, while the All Shares index dropped 0.73 percent or 31.88 points to 4,336.24.


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