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PSEi inches up on 2nd day

/ 05:17 PM February 11, 2016

THE LOCAL stock barometer firmed up on Thursday as investors welcomed the US Federal Reserve’s indication to delay the next US interest rate increase.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 25.95 points or 0.39 percent to close at 6,663.43, drawing strength from US Fed chair Janet Yellen’s testimony before the US Congress.

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“Yellen said tightening financial conditions and uncertainty over China’s economic health are both risks to the U.S. recovery, however, it is unlikely that the Fed would reverse the interest rate tightening cycle it began in December. That said, Yellen did suggest that such risks could delay plans for raising short-term interest rates. Given this, the market locally took this as a positive as the Fed would take further consideration before raising rates again when it meets in March,” said Regina Capital managing director Luis Gerardo Limlingan.

Across regional markets, Limlingan said it was quiet as the financial markets in Japan and China were closed for holiday.

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Locally, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas – as expected – kept its monetary settings unchanged on Thursday, the first policy meeting for 2016. Meanwhile, the monetary authority trimmed its average inflation forecast for 2016 to 2.2 percent from 2.4 percent, reflecting a still benign inflation trajectory.

The local market was led higher by the mining/oil counter which rose by 4.17 percent. All other counters were up albeit at a modest pace.

Value turnover for the day amounted to P4.83 billion. There were 111 advancers that edged out 64 decliners while 30 stocks were unchanged.

Petron led the PSEi higher with its 6.12 percent gain while SM Prime rose by 3.11 percent. ICTSI was up by over 2 percent while MPI, LTD and AGI all advanced by over 1 percent.

Conglomerates SMC and AC also firmed up modestly.

Outside of the PSEi, Lepanto rose by 17.89 percent while Philex surged by 10.63 percent, tracking the recent rebound in global gold prices. Security Bank gained 1.04 percent after reporting a strong fourth quarter performance that resulted in record-high profits in 2015.

On the other hand, Globe, ALI and Megaworld all slipped by over 1 percent while URC, SMIC, JG Summit and GTCAP all declined.

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