Stocks sustain record-breaking rise


Philippine equities rose further into record territory in Wednesday’s trade, with expectations of positive economic growth for the fourth quarter of last year sustaining investor interest despite losses on Wall Street overnight.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 30.61 points or 0.40 percent to close at a new high of 7,661.18, while the All Shares index rose 14.12 points or 0.32 percent to 4,454.78.

It was the sixth all-time intraday and closing high hit by the benchmark so far this year, breaking the previous records set on Tuesday of 7,630.57 at the close and 7,631.85 intraday. In the year to date, the PSEi has risen 6 percent.

“Optimism about the country’s economic performance, coupled with external factors that are favorable to the equities market, continues to support growth of the market,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said.

Jason Escartin of F. Yap Securities Inc. said the PSEi eased in the early sessions of Wednesday, then surged and broke the 7,650-points immediate resistance toward the end of the trading session, with some players checking out the expected figures for the fourth-quarter GDP data due for release Thursday.

The local market carried on its upward momentum as global markets reacted to the drop in US stocks before Wednesday’s trade opened in Manila ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, and with global oil and gold prices slipping, Singapore paring money rates and the EU signaling its willingness to work with Greece’s new leadership, said Justino Calaycay Jr. of Accord Capital Equities Corp.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 291.49 points, while the S&P 500 shed 27.54 points and tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 90.27 points.

The PSEi’s resistance to overseas shocks gained further support from a continuous flow of positive local and international news, such as the benefits of falling oil prices, low interest rates, and an improving US economy.

The financials counter was the sole loser among the sectoral indices, shedding 0.37 percent, while the rest advanced, led by holding firms with a 0.94 percent gain.

Universal Robina Corp. and BDO Unibank Inc. finished in the red among the actively traded stocks, while the eight other top companies rose, including the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Security Bank Corp., First Gen Corp., SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Land Inc.

Total volume of trade was at 1.81 billion shares, valued at P10.45 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 94 to 78, while 48 issues ended unchanged.

On Tuesday, the benchmark stock index climbed 43.90 points or 0.58 percent to close at an all-time high of 7,630.57, shooting up as high as 7,631.85 intraday. The wider All Shares index added 18.75 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 4,440.66.


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