PH shares surge to 16-month high
The local stock barometer surged past 8,150 to close at a 16-month high on Thursday as a dovish signal from US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell perked up regional markets.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) racked up 76.28 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 8,154.49. This was the PSEi’s best finish since March 19, 2018, when it hit 8,235.54.
Regional markets were lifted by Powell’s testimony before the US Congress, during which he signaled the possibility of interest rate cuts for the first time in a decade.
“The chance for a 50-basis point rate cut jumped from only 2 percent yesterday to 25 percent after Powell’s dovish testimony last night. It took the share from the probability of a 25-basis point cut which decreased from 98 percent to 75 percent,” local stock brokerage Papa Securities said.
The next barrier for the PSEi is now seen at 8,200.
Locally, the inflation-targeting Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is also expected to take dovish measures now that the country is back to a benign inflation rate regime.
The PSEi was boosted by gains from the interest rate-sensitive property counter, which surged by 2.2 percent.
The financial counter also rose by 1.76 percent.
The holding firm and services counters gained slightly while the industrial and mining/oil counter slipped.
Total value turnover for the day amounted to P6.09 billion. Domestic investors drove the market higher as foreign investors remained mostly sellers, resulting in a net outflow of around P253.73 million.
There were 124 advancers that edged out 74 decliners, while 49 stocks were unchanged.
Ayala Land, Security Bank and GT Capital led the PSEi higher, all of them rising by over 3 percent.
BPI rose by 2.17 percent, while BDO, SM Prime, Globe Telecom, PLDT and Megaworld all rose by over 1 percent.
Ayala Corp., ICTSI, Metrobank and Aboitiz Power also firmed up.
Notable gainers outside the PSEi included ISM, which rose by 5.68 percent.
On the other hand, URC and First Gen both declined by over 1 percent. Jollibee also slipped. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA
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