Shares rise as traders await BSP’s inflation-busting move
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) rose on Wednesday while major property developers tilted lower a day before the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) meeting to weigh a possible interest rate hike aimed at taming rising inflation.
By the closing bell, the PSEi rose 2.02 percent, or 132.94 points, to 6,727.60 while the broader all-shares index added 1.6 percent, or 56.41 points, to 3,590.06.
The market consensus was that the BSP would keep borrowing rates at the current record low level while some analysts recently voiced their support for a 25-basis point hike on May 19 after the economy expanded faster than expected during the first quarter of the year.
All PSE subsectors advanced on Wednesday, save for the property sector’s 0.6-percent decline after SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Ayala Land Inc. traded lower.
Regional indices were mixed after US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday night that interest rates would continue to climb until there was clear evidence consumer prices were cooling.
Data from the PSE showed 1.6 billion shares valued at P7.75 billion changing hands. A total of 134 companies gained versus 60 decliners while 45 stocks closed unchanged.
SM Investments Corp. was the top traded stock by volume as it jumped 4.57 percent to P870 per share.
It was followed by SM Prime Holdings, down 0.27 percent to P36.70; International Container Terminal Services Inc., up 7.29 percent to P217.80; Converge ICT Solutions Inc., up 0.54 percent to P28; and Ayala Land Inc., down 2.21 percent to P28.80 per share.
Bank of the Philippine Islands rose 4.53 percent to P97; PLDT Inc., up 0.31 percent to P1,971; BDO Unibank Inc., up 0.40 percent to P127; Monde Nissin Corp., up 2.33 percent to P14.94; and Ayala Corp., up 0.44 percent to P678 per share.
—Miguel R. Camus
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