PH stocks get boost as US interest rates show no signs of rising soon

By: Doris C. Dumlao, July 19th, 2013 09:25 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Local stocks firmed up on Thursday as investors took their cue from indications that US interest rates won’t rise too soon.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 73.63 points or 1.12 percent to close at 6,648.35, recovering from a two-day decline.

All counters were up but the biggest gains were eked out by the property and services counters which advanced by over 2 percent.

Value turnover amounted to P7.44 billion. There were 109 advancers that overwhelmed 35 decliners while 46 stocks were unchanged.

This developed as US Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke’s much awaited testimony before the US Congress was seen as “dovish,” resulting in an upbeat trading Wall Street overnight.

While Bernanke’s remarks did not reduce the probability of the US Fed tapering its quantitative easing or bond buying activities,    his words were seen as a signal that monetary stimulus would still be needed.

At the local market, the day’s biggest index gainer was Bloomberry (+5.19 percent), followed by FGEN (+4.7 percent).

SMC also gained by 3.29 percent following a signal to buy back shares and a statement debunking rumors of a prospective debt default.

Meralco and Petron also gained by over 3 percent while Megaworld, PLDT, URC, JG Summit and ALI also contributed sharp gains.

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