PSEi nears all-time high

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11:56 PM March 30th, 2012

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By: Doris C. Dumlao, March 30th, 2012 11:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines–Most local stocks extended their gains for a second session on Friday, lifting the main index back to the 5,100 level, mainly on quarter-end window-dressing.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index added 22.49 points or 0.44 percent to close at 5,107.73. For the week, the index gained 65.29 points or 1.3 percent.

The local index is now closer to the 5,146.17 all-time high posted on March 19. For the first quarter of 2012, the index rose 16.8 percent, its best quarterly gain in 11 years. Apart from window-dressing activities, there was also demand from some institutional investors shifting funds from fixed income to equities on rosier prospects for this asset class under a low-interest-rate environment.

The industrial and services counters gained the most for the day, both rising more than 1 percent. Only the holding firm counter ended in negative territory.

Value turnover amounted to P6.5 billion. As buying for the day focused mostly on blue chips given the quarter-end window-dressing, decliners edged out advancers despite the gain in the main index. There were only 74 advancers against decliners while 42 companies were unchanged.

COL Financial president Conrado Bate said trading volumes were lower than usual because many investors would like to be cautious given the market’s strong run-up since the start of

the year.

“It’s not just because of the upcoming Lenten week. My sense is that people are staying away because they feel the market has been overbought as the run-up has been extended,” Bate said.

Bate said first-quarter corporate earnings in the Philippines were not likely to be spectacular. “At best, it will be in line with expectations.” But while the market was facing correction risks over the short-term, he said long-term investors would still have more to look up to.

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