MANILA, Philippines?Local stock prices bounced back on Wednesday as investors loaded up on blue chips and selected second-liners ahead of a long Easter break.
Promptly shaking off earlier US sovereign debt woes, the main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index recouped 29.56 points or 0.7 percent to finish at 4,274.77, a new high for this year. The main index thus advanced by a modest 23.13 points or 0.5 percent this shortened trading compared to last Friday's close.
The upswing was led by the mining/oil and property counters which rose by 2.76 percent and 1.52 percent, respectively.
Jose Francisco Garcia, chief operating officer at the local stock brokerage RTG & Co. said investors were drawn to the market due to "good bottomline results for first liners."
"Investors are coming in for prospects of substantial dividend yield," Garcia said.
"There's really a lot of pent-up demand from foreign and local investors. We know that there's so much liquidity around," said George Wong, head of the private clients group of leading online stock brokerage CitisecOnline.com.
Investors pocketed profits from EDC, Ayala Land, Aboitiz Power and Ayala Corp. to buy AGI, Megaworld, PLDT, Lepanto A (reserved for local investors), Cebu Air, DMCI, Metrobank, Belle, Philex, First Gen, FLI, Semirara, Manila Mining A, SM Investments, Lopez Holdings and SM Prime.
Manila Mining "A" surged by 8.5 percent to P0.038 on news that a much-awaited joint venture with the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan was "progressing well" and may be concluded by next month. Pangilinan-led Philex was likewise up by 3.98 percent to P17.74 per share.
Investment bank Credit Agricole CIB also said US debt concerns continued to boost "safe haven buying of gold" alongside momentum-based buying of silver across global markets.
Belle jumped by 8.74 percent to P5.85 as the company explained that the delay in the opening of its casino to the second quarter of 2012 from end-2011 was due to an upgrade in design and the expansion in gaming space by 35 percent.
Turnover was heavier at P5.5 billion compared to around P4 billion in previous days despite the earlier anticipated unwinding ahead of a long break.
There were 89 advancers versus 53 decliners while 41 stocks were unchanged.
Sentiment was buoyed by the overnight rebound in Wall Street as the Dow Jones Industrial Index recouped 65.16 points or 0.53 percent to 12,266.75.