• PSEi returns to 6,700 level as Asia gains

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    GAINS in Asian stocks on Monday helped rekindle buying interest in Philippine shares, sending the main index back to the 6,700-point psychological mark after two days of losses on weaker-than-expected economic data.

    “Early trades across Asia showed up in the green after impressive manufacturing data from China tilted the balance of views slightly away from fears of a slowing economy,” Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst Justino Calaycay said.

    China’s manufacturing activity strengthened to a five-month high in May, Agence France-Presse reported.

    On Monday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 62.75 points or 0.94 percent to settle at 6,710.40, while the wider all shares gained 30.72 points or 0.77 percent to 4,028.29.

    “The two-session slump following the release of Q1 GDP data attracted enough buying activity to lift the PSEi higher through the morning trade,” Calaycay explained.

    “From what was shaping out to be a sideways move, prices surged at the resumption after lunch, pushing the measure further past the 6700-line,” he added.

    All the sectoral indices were back in the green with services recording the largest gain. The services sector advanced 29.31 points or 1.47 percent to 2,018.46, followed by industrials, which gained 98.21 points or 0.97 percent to 10,210.18.

    Holding firms climbed 51.23 points or 0.84 percent to 6,122.90, and financials added 11.24 points or 0.72 percent to end at 1,579.42. Mining and oil went up 104.62 points or 0.68 percent to 15,507.69, while properties gained 12.93 points or 0.49 percent to 2,644.61.

    Trading volume thinned, with only 874 million shares valued at P7.02 billion changing hands. Advancers beat decliners 105 to 62, with 47 issues unchanged.

    Some of the most actively traded stocks were Security Bank Corp., up 0.97 percent at P125.00; Ayala Land Inc., up 2.17 percent at P30.65; Bank of the Philippine Islands, up 1.36 percent at P85.65; SM Investments Corp., down 0.89 percent at P779.00; and BDO Unibank Inc., down 0.57 percent at P87.90.

    Given Monday’s rebound, the market will search for fresh leads to justify bullish trade, analysts said.

    “Investors will remain sensitive to daily movements among global stocks and the influences that guide them as the disappointment over the economic performance fades into the background,” Calaycay said.

    Philippine shares slumped for two days last week following the announcement of a slower first-quarter gross domestic product result. On Friday, the PSEi lost 29.02 points or 0.43 percent to 6,647.65, while the wider all shares was down 6.52 points or 0.16 percent at 3,997.57.

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