INVESTORS hunting for bargains and the release of the latest economic growth data helped the stock market leap back to the 7,600 level on Thursday.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) surged by 1.98 percent or 147.62 points to end at 7,616.35, while the wider All Shares jumped by 1.52 percent or 67.41 points to close at 4,504.20.
“Bargain-hunting amid a faster fourth-quarter GDP (gross domestic product) growth sent the local market higher,” Philstocks Financial Inc. said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Thursday that economic growth picked up to 6.4 percent in the last three months of 2019 from 6.0 percent in the third quarter. The figure is also higher than the 5.6-percent and 5.5-percent expansions in the first and second quarters, respectively.
But the full-year figure of 5.9 percent fell short of the government’s growth target range of 6 to 6.5 percent.
Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan agreed, saying “Philippine shares finally reversed the downtrend after fourth-quarter GDP [data was] better than most analysts expected at 6.4 percent.”
Wall Street was mixed. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq grew by 0.03 percent and 0.14 percent, respectively, but the Dow Jones, meanwhile dropped by 0.03 percent.
Asian markets mirrored their American counterparts. Jakarta rose by 0.17 percent and Vietnam added 0.52 percent, while Tokyo dipped by 0.98 percent, Shanghai plunged by 2.75 percent, Hong Kong slipped by 1.65 percent, Seoul slid by 0.93 percent, Singapore fell by 0.57 percent and Thailand shed 0.24 percent.
In Manila, all sectors ended in the green, with industrial and holding firms taking the lead at 2.72 percent and 2.23 percent, respectively.
Volume turnover stood at 669.94 million shares amounting to P6.63 billion.
Winners led losers, 117-73, while 50 issues were unchanged.