Lo­cal stocks climb as in­vestors pick up bar­gains

Business World - - THE STOCK MARKET - A. B.

LO­CAL EQ­UI­TIES climbed on Thurs­day as traders took ad­van­tage of Wed­nes­day’s slump and went bar­gain hunt­ing.

The 30- mem­ber Philip­pine Stock Ex­change in­dex (PSEi) rose 0.53% or 40.47 points to close at 7,563.45.

The broader all-shares in­dex like­wise went up 0.42% or 19.14 points to set­tle at 4,521.21.

“The mar­ket closed up 40 points af­ter be­ing down in early morn­ing trade. It looks like the bulls went bar­gain hunt­ing from yes­ter­day’s low and pushed the mar­ket up today,” PNB Se­cu­ri­ties Pres­i­dent Manuel An­to­nio G. Lis­bona said on Thurs­day

The bell­wether PSEi had been trad­ing side­ways in the start of the week as traders failed to find pos­i­tive leads to prompt any move­ment.

“Philip­pine mar­ket closed higher as the prob­a­bil­ity of a June rate hike is now be­low 50% and with new in­for­ma­tion on the lat­est re­lease of the Beige Book,” Regina Cap­i­tal Devel­op­ment Corp. Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Luis A. Lim­lin­gan said.

The US Fed­eral Re­serve re­leased the Beige Book on Wed­nes­day, which con­tains a sum­mary of the coun­try’s eco­nomic con­di­tions. The re­port said the US econ­omy ex­panded at a mod­estto-mod­er­ate pace be­tween midFe­bru­ary and the end of March, but in­fla­tion pres­sures re­mained in check de­spite more dif­fi­cul­ties in at­tract­ing and re­tain­ing work­ers.

“On bal­ance, prices rose mod­estly,” the US cen­tral bank said in its pe­ri­odic gauge of the health of the econ­omy de­rived from sur­vey­ing busi­ness con­tacts na­tion­wide.

Firms mostly ex­pected price growth to be mild to mod­er­ate over the com­ing months, the Fed added.

The Fed raised its bench­mark in­ter­est rate in March for the sec­ond time in three months and many pol­icy mak­ers ap­pear bullish on the prospects of more tight­en­ing this year with the na­tion near full em­ploy­ment and in­fla­tion slowly ris­ing.

Four sec­toral coun­ters were up, with in­dus­tri­als and hold­ing firms lead­ing the gains ris­ing by 0.83% apiece to 11,278.36 and 7,667.87, re­spec­tively. The prop­erty sec­tor also went up by 0.51% or 17.02 points to 3,309.66 and fi­nan­cials inched up by 0.31% or 5.88 points to 1,880.11.

In con­trast, the ser­vices counter dipped 0.15% or 2.41 points to 1,567.77 while min­ing and oil closed at 11,987.08, lower by 0.14% or 17.03 points.

A to­tal of 1 bil­lion is­sues changed hands, ac­count­ing for a value turnover of P5.94 bil­lion, up from the pre­vi­ous day’s P5.56 bil­lion. This num­ber, how­ever, is still on the thin side, PNB Se­cu­ri­ties’ Mr. Lis­bona said.

De­clin­ers nar­rowly beat ad­vancers, 96 to 94, as 43 is­sues re­mained un­changed.

Foreigners con­tin­ued to sell their stocks, as net out­flows in­creased to P341.10 bil­lion from Wed­nes­day’s P306.71 bil­lion.

“Sup­port level for the mar­ket is at 7,476, but [we] would like to see the gap be­tween 7,456 and 7,476 cov­ered sooner rather than later,” Mr. Lis­bona said. •

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