The local stock index overcame rising risk aversion across the region Monday as selective buying fueled its breach of the 5,100 level, again moving closer to record highs.
Shrugging off jitters over Spain’s debt that spooked most other markets elsewhere, the Philippine Stock Exchange index added 20.16 points, or 0.4 percent, to finish at 5,117.46. This brought the index less than 30 points away from revisiting the all-time high marked last month. The local market’s record close was 5,145.89 on March 16 while the all-time intra-day high was at 5,146.17 posted last March 19.
The index was led higher by the financial and holding firm counters whose sub-indices both surged more than 1 percent. The property counter also managed to firm up. On the other hand, the industrial, services and mining/oil counters ended in the red.
Total value turnover improved to P6.54 billion, aided by about P865 million in net foreign buying. Many investors who had gone on long holidays during the Lenten break were now starting to take new positions, said Joseph Roxas, president of Eagle Equities Inc.
Despite the overall index gain, there were only 74 advancers, which were beaten by 87 decliners while 42 stocks were unchanged. With the index now at 5,100—a level where many analysts believed most index stocks have reached fair valuation—stock picking was unsurprisingly selective.—Doris C. Dumlao