• PSEi touches 7,000 before paring gains inspired by US rally


    Local stocks sustained their winning momentum from last week, with the main index briefly hitting 7,000 points in morning trade, as investors cheered the rally on overseas markets following the release of encouraging US economic data.

    Buying was also fueled by lingering optimism from the lower-than-expected June inflation figure and expectations of better second-quarter corporate earnings.

    “Basically, we felt the fireworks in the US. There continues to be good news like jobs and trade data, which is getting better. It’s our budget partner so it would benefit us also,” First Grade Finance Inc. managing director Astro del Castillo said.

    US markets were at record highs last week while other global indexes were also treading multiple-year peaks. The Dow crossed the 17,000 level for the first time on Thursday while both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were at record levels after a series of strong US data lifted sentiment.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended Monday’s trade up 36.82 points or 0.53 percent at 6,999.10, while the wider all shares gained 20.83 points or 0.50 percent to 4,180.32.

    At the market recess, the PSEi was at 7,009.05, up 45.77 points or 0.66 percent.

    “Share prices made an early rush towards 7,000, missing the mark by less than a point in early trading, allowing a modicum of profit-taking to pull it back but came back stronger to break through the line inside the first half-hour,” Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst Justino Calaycay said.

    Calaycay said the market’s sustained run could also be an indication that investors are expecting second-quarter numbers to show a substantial improvement over the disappointing first-quarter results.

    Meanwhile, Del Castillo said that even though the momentum is there, once the index reverses a bit, profit-taking may occur at the 6,800 to 6,900 range.

    Except for mining and oil, which shed 104.31 points or 0.62 percent to 16,639.44, the rest of the sectoral indices were higher. Property had the largest increase, gaining 24.93 points or 0.94 percent to 2,679.22, followed by financials, which added 14.20 points or 0.85 percent to 1,680.71.

    Services climbed 12.83 points or 0.62 percent to 2,094.55, while holding firms advanced 22.74 points or 0.36 percent to 6,350.99. Industrials were up 32.47 points or 0.31 percent to 10,498.26.

    Trading volume reached 2.8 billion valued at P8.3 billion. Advancers beat decliners 114 to 74, while 42 stocks were unchanged.

    Some of the most actively traded stocks were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., up 0.13 percent at P3,020; Megaworld Corp., up 3.28 percent at P4.73; Globe Telecom Inc., up 1.59 percent at P1,727; Cebu Air Inc., up 0.60 percent at P58.50; and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., up 0.78 percent at P90.70.

    The local bourse also announced the updated list of Shariah-compliant companies. A listed company is Shariah-compliant if its primary business does not fall within any of the prohibited activities in Islam such as conventional interest-based lending, financial institutions, insurance, mortgage and lease, derivatives, pork, alcohol, tobacco, arms and weapons, stem-cell research, hotel, gambling, casinos, music, cinema, and adult entertainment.

    Power-based conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. and affiliate Aboitiz Power Corp. exited the updated list and were replaced by newcomers DoubleDragon Properties Inc., Easycall Communications, Vitarich Corp., and Victorias Milling.

    On Friday, the market ended higher after the government announced that inflation had eased to 4.4 percent in June from 4.5 percent in May. The benchmark index settled at 6,962.28, up 62.97 points or 0.91 percent, while the wider all shares added 29.50 points or 0.71 percent to 6,962.28.


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