PSEi perked up by news of geothermal unit reopening, expected cut in SDA rates

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MANILA, Philippines—Local stocks were mostly higher on Monday on news of the recommissioning of one unit of the Bacman geothermal plant as well as expectations of further cuts in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ special deposit accounts rates.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index added 5.08 points or 0.08 percent to close at 6,732.22. Across the region, trading was mostly sluggish partly due to the weak jobs report in the US.

At the local market, news that Energy Development Corporation had re-commissioned Unit 2 of Bacman geothermal plant at the full capacity of 55MW had perked up Lopez-led index stocks EDC (+1.9 percent) and FGEN (+1.46 percent).

The index was also boosted by the gains of Petron (+3.49 percent) and BDO (+2.04 percent). Bloomberry, Philex, Globe, Meralco, BPI, San Miguel Corp., SMIC, URC, Metrobank, AGI and MWC also contributed gains to the PSEi.

On the other hand, the day’s gains were tempered by the decline of index heavyweight PLDT (-1.8 percent). Likewise among the index decliners were ICTSI, MPIC, DMCI, SM Prime, AC, AEV and RLC.

Dealers said expectations that the BSP would slash SDA rates further as early as its next meeting on April 25 given the benign March inflation rate number spurred demand for equities from yield-seeking investors. The rate on SDA — the mechanism by which BSP borrows from a broader market – has been slashed by 100 basis points so far this year to 2.5 percent.

By counter, the financial, industrial and mining/oil counters kept the index afloat while the holding firms, services and property counters ended in the red.

Value turnover for the day amounted to P10.81 billion. There were 77 advancers versus 78 decliners while 45 stocks were unchanged.

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