LOCAL stocks rose on Thursday, with the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) returning to the 7,200-points territory, as sentiment continued to receive a boost from the latest US factory data and on indications from the US Federal Reserve that the increase in interest rates will be gradual.
The PSEi surged 2.54 percent or 178.49 points to 7,209.44 on Thursday while the All Shares index also climbed by 2.10 percent or 88.99 points to 4,336.77.
Jonathan Latuja, equity analyst at Unicapital Securities Inc., said the market was buoyed by investors and fund managers who have come back to trade after the holidays.
“Aside from the previous days’ optimism coming from positive manufacturing data abroad, the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] last night indicated that they will maintain gradual increases in interest rates,” Latuja said in a text message.
“It is also important to note that the holiday season is over so participation from fund managers and investors increased as can be seen by the sudden surge in trading volume since yesterday,” he added.
Despite news on Thursday that Philippine inflation grew by 2.6 percent in December, the fastest pace in two years, Latuja said this did not affect the PSEi rally as investors were focused on the more positive news abroad that are lifting markets worldwide.
In the next few days, Latuja said it is possible for the PSEi to go up further. “Yes, possibly. Historically, the PSEi goes higher during the first quarter of the year compared to the last year’s fourth quarter.”
The sectoral indices were all up on Thursday led by holding firms and financials, which rose by 3.06 percent and 2.91 percent, respectively.
Among actively traded shares, Security Bank Corp. surged by 8.91 percent followed by SM Investments Corp. which advanced 6 percent. Some of the top gainers during the session were Ayala Land Inc., Ayala Corp., and BDO Unibank Inc., among others, while shares of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. ended flat.
A total of 1.33 billion shares worth P10.28 billion were traded on Thursday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 146 to 55, while 32 issues were unchanged.
On Wednesday, the bellwether PSEi rose 2.47 percent or 169.64 points to 7,030.95, while the wider All Shares index climbed 1.95 percent or 81.22 points to 4,247.78.