Stocks end slightly higher

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Local stocks were modestly higher Friday with selective stock-picking allowing the main index to hold against a mostly sluggish regional equities trading.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index recovered 8.23 points or 0.13 percent to close at 6,521.64. For the week, the index had a modest gain of 62.97 points or 0.01 percent.

In Friday’s trading, small gains by the financial, industrial and property counters offset the weakness in the holding firm, services and mining/oil counters.

In general, gains were backed by optimism over the unfolding fourth-quarter corporate earnings reporting season but these have been tempered by the recent MSCI rebalancing and the recent accident at a Semirara coal mine in Antique.

The PSEi bounced from the previous day’s correction on the back of gains made by SMDC (+8.01 percent), Megaworld (+3.66 percent), Ayala Corp. (+2.38 percent), SMC (+1.8 percent), Belle (+1.54 percent) and Petron (+1.09 percent). MWC and banking stocks BDO, BPI and Metrobank also contributed to the day’s gains.

On the other hand, Semirara (-2.45 percent) continued to fall after a mining landslide killed five people and entrapped some other personnel. Parent DMCI

(-1.41 percent) also continued to trade in the red. Other decliners were FGEN, SMIC, Globe, PLDT, Philex , AGI, URC and MPI.

Value turnover for the day amounted to about P9.43 billion. The 90 advancers slightly beat decliners at 84 while 39 stocks were unchanged. Doris C. Dumlao

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