MANILA, Philippines - The local stock market vaulted to a new record peak yesterday, closing above the 5,200 level for the first time on upbeat US economic data and healthy demand for euro zone sovereign debt.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished 35.24 points or 0.68 percent higher at 5,204.84 as investors loaded up on shares of DMCI, Philex Mining, Metro Pacific and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.
Year-to-date, the PSEi has risen by 19.05 percent.
“The PSEI closed at its 16th resetting of the record high, settling above the 5,200-line for the first time. We have always contended that if investors choose to focus on the domestic fundamentals above external issues, the bias is unmistakably positive. Today is yet another proof of this proposition,” said Accord Capital Equities Inc.’s Jun Calaycay.
Investors cheered the improved housing data with single-family home prices rising in February for the first time in 10 months.
DMCI gained almost seven percent to P63 while Philex rose 8.28 percent to P24.20. Metro Pacific improved by 7.09 percent to P4.53 while Alliance Global Group Inc. inched up by 4.26 percent to P12.74.
Gainers outran losers 104 to 69 while 40 issues were unchanged. A total of 8.86 billion shares, worth P8.71 billion, changed hands yesterday.
Calaycay said the index is well on track to hitting his projected 2012 index level of between 5,600 and 5,800. “We believe that heading into the final leg of the earnings reporting season, the 5,200 level can be, and will most probably be, sustained,” he said.
He, however, cautioned that some stocks may be ripe for profit-taking. “ We look ahead to going light on substantial overperformers, while reconfiguring our portfolios to focus on financial, industrial and property sectors, emphasizing on underperforms,” Calaycay said. - By Zinnia B. Dela Peña