• Stock index seen hitting 6,500 points in first half

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    The benchmark index of the country’s stock market is expected to hit a conservative level of 6,500 points in the first six months of this year, amid anticipation of lingering volatility within the global and local equities market.

    “We expect the market to continue volatility until the first half of the year but we should be able to stabilize in the second half.

    Factoring that anticipation, we are looking at 6,300 [points]to 6,500 [points]for the first half [for the benchmark index]. But again, most probably by the end of the first quarter, we will see some corporate earnings coming out from 2013 results, which we believe, especially in the food sector, will probably post good numbers,” said Bede Lovell Gomez, First Metro Investments Corp. vice president, adding that price earnings ratio will be from 17 times to 18 times.

    According to Gomez, the drivers for the market will be the sustained economic growth as well, as the positive outlook on some sectors such as power and property.

    “We are more positive in the power sector but we continue to favor property and infrastructure, consumer, gaming and manufacturing,” he added.

    Roberto Juanchito Dispo, FMIC president, also said that economic fundamentals for the Philippines will remain strong throughout the year and this will support the growth of the equities market as well.

    The recovery of global economy, as well as the robust growth in local exports, manufacturing, overseas Filipino workers remittances, and business process outsourcing will also drive the stock market this year, Dispo added.

    But according to Gomez, it’s still difficult to give forecast on how the stock market will perform in the second half of the year, given the uncertainties in the global markets.

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