BSP rate-cut prospects lift local bourse

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) opened the week in the green, with investors turning optimistic in their anticipation of cuts in the policy rate of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) later this year.

The benchmark PSEi climbed by 0.97 percent, or 64.09 points, to close at 6,682.78 while the broader All-Shares index rose 0.7 percent, 24.55 points, to settle at 3,548.70.

“[The] optimism that the BSP would cut interest rates by the second half lifted the sentiment,” said Claire Alviar, assistant manager for research and online engagement at Philstocks Financial Inc.

The BSP kept the key interest rates at 6.5 percent for the fifth policy meeting in a row last week but hinted at possible cuts totaling 50 basis points moving forward.

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All sub-sectors were up, with the mining and oil index booking the most gains with a 4.95-percent uptick.

About 513.47 million shares valued at P5.8 billion were traded. Advancers led decliners, 122-72, while 42 shares were unchanged.

Ayala Land Inc. shares were the most actively traded, increasing by 1.02 percent to P29.70 each.

This was followed by BDO Unibank Inc., up 0.94 percent to P140; International Container Terminal Services Inc., up 1.62 percent to P339.40; Globe Telecom Inc., up 1 percent to P2,020; SM Investments Corp., flat at P875; and SM Prime Holdings, flat at P29.20.

Other active names were PLDT Inc., up 0.48 percent to P1,463; Aboitiz Equity Ventures, flat at P37.35; Converge ICT Solutions, up 2.67 percent to P10; and Ayala Corp., up 0.24 percent to P621.50.