Thursday, April 19, 2012

News Update Stocks advance to new all-time high

MANILA, Philippines - Bucking the weakness in Asian markets, local share prices notched new all-time highs yesterday as investors cheered higher US retail sales.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed at 5,157.28, up 39.82 points or 0.80 percent. It recoded its previous record high at 5,145.89 on Mar. 16.
“Expectations of strong first quarter broad economic and corporate numbers kept the bulls having a field day while holding bears at bay. Confidence was further boosted by a 70-point rebound in the Dow overnight, even as other measures posted marginal losses,” said Accord Capital Equities Inc.’s Jun Calaycay.
The main composite index has risen by 17.96 percent or 785.32 points since the start of the year and continues to be one of the best performing indices in the region just behind Vietnam.
Foreign investors loaded up on SM Investments Corp., Banco De Oro, Universal Robina Corp., Ayala Land, Cebu Pacific, and Metrobank.
“While developments abroad continue to be a significant factor in dictating market movements, investor confidence in our local market remains strong which has enabled it to buck the downward trend in the region these past few days. This four-day rally shows that the market continues to withstand external shocks as it is supported by the Philippines’ growth story,” PSE president and chief executive officer Hans B. Sicat said.
A total of 1.489 billion shares valued at P6.71 billion changed hands yesterday. Advancers outpaced decliners 103 to 69 with 40 issues closing unchanged.
“The market may have started to take early positions in the two interest-rate sensitive groups ahead of the Monetary Board’s policy meeting on Thursday. After having cut rates by an aggregate 50 basis points over the last two meetings, the BSP is not expected to make any further cuts over the near term,” Calaycay said. - By Zinnia B. Dela Peña