Stocks continue to rise

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Local stocks closed at a new all-time high on Monday, led by cyclical banking and property stocks on robust prospects for 2013.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index racked up another 32.25 points or 0.57 percent to close at the day’s peak of 5,672.70, the highest ever hit by the index. The PSEi has now hit record highs for the 33rd time this year.

The index was led higher by the financial (+1.72 percent) and property (+1.28 percent) counters. The outperformer among index stocks was BPI (+6.74 percent), which is in merger talks with Philippine National Bank, a prospective deal that could catapult it to the top of the local banking industry in terms of size.

Other index gainers were Megaworld (+4.38 percent), SM Prime (+3.86 percent), Meralco (+3.66 percent), AEV (+3.45 percent) and AC (+3.08 percent). AP, MPI, Jollibee and URC also all gained more than 1 percent.

The PSEi’s gains were tempered by the decline of Philex (-3.08 percent), AGI (-2.45 percent) and PLDT (-2.17 percent).

Metrobank, in its daily commentary, said some pullback in the domestic market might be expected “as warranted from its rise to recent highs.”

“Also, continued volatility brought about by US fiscal cliff worries will remain to haunt investor confidence. However, a bullish stance is preferred on the medium- to long-term for Philippine equities. Major market corrections may be viewed as a chance to enter (or re-enter) the market,” it said.

A key index support was seen at 5,500.

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