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Stocks set new high

/ 11:20 PM February 01, 2013

Local stocks soared to another record high, lifting the main index beyond the 6,300 mark for the first time, on the back of good macroeconomic and corporate earnings outlook for this year.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index rallied by 75.87 points or 1.22 percent to finish at 6,318.61. A new intraday peak of 6,342.72 was likewise hit.

Dealers said that while the market was initially unexcited by the 6.8-percent gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter and the 6.6 percent full-year growth for 2012 reported on Thursday, the figures were better appreciated against a backdrop of a still muted global economic recovery. A number of research reports issued by big financial institutions also reflected an upbeat outlook on the Philippine economy and corporate performance for 2013.

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By sector, the day’s outperformer was the property counter (+3.32 percent) while the financial, services and mining/oil counters also rose by more than 1 percent.

In a briefing, JP Morgan Philippines head of research Gilbert Lopez said the index would have room to rise by another 15 percent this year. (See story on this page.) Lopez said the long running joke that the PSEi might hit a level approximating the number of islands in the Philippine archipelago (7,100) might come true. Doris C. Dumlao

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