The local stock market started the new year on a bullish note, with the main index breaching the 8,700 mark for the first time on Wednesday on rosy prospects for local equities for the rest of 2018.
Tracking mostly upbeat regional markets, the Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 165.71 points or 1.94 percent to close at its best-ever finish of 8,724.13, which was likewise the intra-day peak.
“The back-to-back closing at new record highs on the first trading day of 2018 and last trading day of 2017 is an auspicious sign for our stock market. Investor confidence and optimism were very apparent in today’s trading and we hope our market will remain robust for most of the year,” said PSE president Ramon Monzon.
“Philippine markets resumed their bullish climb on opening day with another record high once again. Investors are continuing to make their bets on issues they believe will outperform for the rest of the year,” said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development.
All counters firmed up but the biggest gainers were the holding firms and property counters, which both surged by over 2 percent. The services counter went up by 1.05 percent.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P7.29 billion. Foreign investors were net buyers amounting to around P348 million.
There were 118 advancers that edged out 102 decliners while 38 stocks were unchanged.
The PSEi was led higher by Sy family-led conglomerate SM Investments, which rose by 5.05 percent.
Metrobank and SM Prime both added over 3 percent while Ayala Land, AGI, Megaworld and ICTSI all advanced by over 2 percent.
BPI, URC and PLDT firmed up by over 1 percent while Meralco, GT Capital, Jollibee and Security Bank also contributed gains.
Outside of the PSEi, notable gainers included gaming firms Bloomberry and Melco Resorts, which both rallied by over 5 percent.
On the other hand, BDO – the day’s most actively traded stock – fell by 1.83 percent.
Puregold and Metro Pacific also slipped by over 1 percent.
Elsewhere in the region, stock markets were mostly bullish ahead of the release of a US factory gauge and the minutes from the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting.//30