Stocks rebound on earnings prospects

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Philippine shares recovered from a bout of profit-taking in the previous day’s session and closed Thursday slightly higher as the market anticipated the release of more positive corporate earnings results for 2014 and its last quarter.

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Investors focused on domestic factors in the absence of stronger leads from overseas, and took positions in companies expected to report strong profits for last year, analysts said.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.37 percent or 28.16 points to end at 7,714.59, while the All Shares index gained 0.23 percent or 10.13 points to 4,477.14.

“Absent any major leads from external sources, investors’ optimism about the local market shone. A flat end to trades in the US overnight and a marginal drop in the European counterparts have left market denizens focusing on (local) individual issues ahead of the fourth-quarter earnings numbers,” Justino Calaycay Jr. of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said.

The market found no support from Wall Street where the Dow Jones Average Index dipped 6.62 points and the S&P 500 shed 0.06 points.

BPI Securities Corp. Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Michaelangelo Oyson observed a “rotation among the laggard big caps,” which included Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Manila Electric Company, DMCI Holdings Inc. and Bloomberry Resorts Corp.

But the market’s overall gains were pared by some last-minute profit-taking, though Oyson noted a good point of re-entry in the coming days through consumer stocks.

“We also saw profit-taking in some consumer names. We are recommending that investors continue to pick up consumer names such as Universal Robina Corp. (URC) on a pullback. Liquidity remains supportive of the markets,” Oyson said.

Industrial and property counters fell while the other indices gained, with services up 0.89 percent.

The most active losers were Ayala Land Inc., Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Security Bank Corp., and Alliance Global Group Inc. while top gainers included PLDT, URC, Metro Pacific Investments Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc.

Total volume was 1.99 billion shares, valued at P8.63 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 91 to 84, while 49 issues finished unchanged.

On Wednesday, the benchmark stock index ended down 0.48 percent or 36.71 points at 7,686.43, while the broader All Shares index lost 0.41 percent or 18.53 points to close at 4,467.01.

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