Stocks set new record high

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PSEi breaches 7,500, closes at 7,490.88

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Stocks rallied on optimism about the economy and drove the benchmark index to record territory before closing Wednesday’s trade with pared gains.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) breached resistance at 7,500 points and hit an intraday high of 7,530.41. It finished up 1.24 percent or 91.88 points to a new closing high of 7,490.88.

The wider All Shares index rose 0.87 percent or 37.55 points to 4,376.25.

“We are pleased to see the index reach a new record. We are optimistic that solid economic fundamentals and corporate profits will continue to fuel the market’s upward momentum,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said.
The PSEi broke its previous closing record of 7,402.72 set on January 9.

“The Philippines is at an all-time high today despite all (other) markets being down … We are now the fastest growing in Southeast Asia. The market was up on lower oil prices, and this should affect our economy positively,” Miguel Agarao, investment analyst at Wealth Securities Inc., said.

The mining and oil subindex was the sole loser among the sectors, ending down 0.48 percent. The sector fell under the pressure of a drop in copper prices, which plunged 6 percent to below $2.50 a pound in New York. This was copper’s steepest dive in one day, which was triggered by the decline in global oil prices.

Property shares led the gains, pushing the subindex up 2.10 percent.

The top gainers included URC, SM, ALI, MBT and MEG, while the most active losers were FNI, VLL and PGOLD.

Trade volume stood at 1.85 billion shares, valued at P13.45 billion.

Agarao said that for the long term, the market may sustain its growth momentum but can be affected by declines in the US and European markets in the short term, which can lead to a correction in the next few days.

RCBC Securities Inc. Vice President and Head of Research Raul Ruiz said the strong close despite negative leads from Wall Street overnight “affirms the local market’s inherent attractiveness . . . even as gains were trimmed at the close on profit-taking.”

Ruiz said the PSEi is set to trade within the 7,400 to 7,800-point trading range when the market resumes trade on Monday and the succeeding days after what the market expects to be an inspiring Papal visit.

Trading for today (Thursday) and tomorrow has been suspended in observance of the special holiday for Pope Francis’ visit. Business will resume on Monday, the PSE announced earlier.

“However, the market should eventually see profit-taking, although buying support should come in toward 7,400,” Ruiz added.

On Tuesday, the main PSEi finished up 0.55 percent or 40.64 points at 7,399, while the wider All Shares index firmed 0.42 percent or 18.03 points to 4,338.70.

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