Last-minute buying lifts stocksBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Local stocks traded lower for most of the session on Friday but a late surge in the buying of blue chips led the main index to a strong close just a few notches below a key barrier at 5,200.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 46.88 points or 0.91 percent to close at 5,196.19, defying muted trading across regional markets.
For the week, the main index was up 52.84 points or 1 percent as the local stock market closed higher in three of the four trading sessions. (The market was closed on national holiday last Monday).
The PSEi’s gains were led by BPI (+3.02 percent), PLDT (+2.16 percent), BDO (+1.41 percent), SM Prime (+1.45 percent), DMCI (+1.45 percent), URC (+1.08 percent) and AEV (+2.11 percent).
AGI, SMIC, ALI, ICTSI and AP also contributed to the day’s upswing. Among non-PSEi stocks, Puregold also gained in heavy trade.
The PSEi’s gains were tempered by the decline of Metrobank (-2.62 percent), Meralco (-0.96 percent), AC (-1.58 percent) and Megaworld (-2.68 percent). Among non-PSEi stocks, Security Bank (-3.01 percent) was a notable decliner.
Joseph Roxas, president of Eagle Equities Inc., said the heavy buying of blue chips at the close of Friday’s session could be due to the resumption of window-dressing. “It’s the last day of the month,” he said.
Roxas said the market was still at a “safe” level as 5,100 was holding as a key support.
Many dealers and traders were puzzled, however, by the late-session buying binge in this period within the so-called “ghost month” when many Asian investors shy away from the market because it was deemed an unlucky period.
Stock markets earlier in the region were lower ahead of US Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke’s much-awaited speech at the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium. Investors were awaiting further clues on the Fed’s monetary policy.
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