Holding firms, mining lead stock rally

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Local stocks firmed up Thursday after a two-day decline as cash-awash investors looked for opportunities to pick up equities.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 22.77 points or 0.33 percent to close at 6,995.46. The index still found 7,000 a tough barrier.

The day’s upswing was led by holding firms (+1.38 percent) and mining/oil (+1.04 percent). On the other hand, the cyclical financial and property counters dipped on profit-taking.

Value turnover for the day amounted to P10.36 billion. There were 95 advancers that edged out 71 decliners while 43 stocks were unchanged.

At the close of trading hours, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas–as widely expected by the market–slashed by 50 basis points the interest rate on special deposit accounts (SDA), the mechanism by which it borrows from the broader market. This is seen driving some investors to seek higher yields from the stock market.

The day’s recovery was led by Bloomberry (+3.92 percent), Globe Telecom (+3 percent), Alliance Global Inc. (+2.71 percent), Aboitiz Equity Ventures (+1.88 percent), SM Investment Corp. (+1.7 percent), Ayala Corp. (+1.44 percent), Petron (+1.18 percent), Metro Pacific Investments (+1.03 percent), Semirara (+0.83 percent) and Energy Development Corp. (+0.77 percent).

The most actively traded stock was Melco (+2.7 percent), which bounced after the selldown that followed its offering.

The day’s index gains were tempered by the decline of Megaworld, BDO, Metrobank, BPI, URC, SMC, PLDT, RLC, ICTSI and Ayala Land.

Across the region, stock markets mostly firmed up as commodities recovered alongside expectations of central banks continuing the trend of monetary easing. Doris C Dumlao

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