Favorable inflation report lifts PH shares
The stock market cheered the latest inflation print showing consumer prices unexpectedly cooling in February, which pushed up the benchmark index above 6,700 on Tuesday.
By the closing bell, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index climbed 0.51 percent, or 34 points, to 6,705.12 while the broader All Shares Index added 0.48 percent, or 17.15 points, to 3,590.21.
The February inflation rate eased to 8.6 percent from the previous month’s 8.7 percent and below consensus estimate of 8.9 percent.
“Although the rise in headline [consumer price index] only decelerated by a tenth of a percentage point, it is still welcome news given how inflation in the Philippines is the highest in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) today,” HSBC Global Research Asean economist Aris Dacanay said on Tuesday.
“Indeed, the momentum of inflation eased significantly in February, but it’s difficult to determine the peak with confidence given the extent to which inflation was spreading to other goods and services,” he said.
“Demand was still strong. This was evident in the uptick of the prices of goods and services unrelated to food and energy, such as clothing and footwear, personal care and recreation,” he added.
Industrial stocks gained 1.57 percent gain, followed by property (+1.06 percent), financials (+0.68 percent), mining and oil (+0.34 percent) and services (+0.04 percent).
A total of 1.8 billion shares valued at P5.5 billion changed hands. Net foreign buying amounted to P127.75 million.
—MIGUEL R. CAMUS INQ
Risks to the stock market’s strong performance this year
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