Positive factors push Philippine shares up for third straight trading day

08:44, May 14, 2010      

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The Philippine stock market rallied to its near 28-month high on Thursday following the strong performance for the U.S. market and other positive local developments.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index jumped by 1.78 percent or 58.28 points to 3,327.69, while the all share index rose by 1.76 percent or 36.03 points to 2,080.54.

A total of 1.6 billion shares valued at 5.22 billion pesos (115. 89 million U.S. dollars) were changed hands with a net foreign selling of 650 million pesos (14.43 million U.S. dollars).

Advancers led decliners 69 to 26 while 70 shares did not move, while all six subsector indices managed to close higher led by the holding firm sector which gained 2.2 percent or 46.20 points to 2, 140.34.

Richmond Bata of online brokerage 2TradeAsia.com attributed the market's third consecutive rally to a lot of positive factors, among which include the recently concluded Philippine election and the positive export data and foreign direct investment.

The Dow Jones industrial average index's advance by 148 points Wednesday night because of the waning concern over Europe's debt crisis has also helped the local market breach past the 3,300 level on Thursday, he said.

"Most of the optimism pave way for the market to hit above 3, 300 level. As of now, the positive news weighed more than the negative (although) any sustained rally past Thursday's level will depend on a lot of factors," Bata said.

The Philippine central bank reported on Wednesday that net foreign direct investments in February recorded an inflow of 209 million U.S. dollars, five percent higher than last year's level.

Export revenues in March meanwhile touched an all time high of 4.18 billion U.S. Dollars, 43.7 percent higher year-on-year, as the global recovery spurs demand for electronics.

"Despite concerns in the European region, the worry was less felt in the Philippines as the primary focus is the election results. As early as now, some groups have already expressed support and encouragement to the leading candidate," said Maria Arlysa Narciso of local brokerage AB Capital Securities, Inc.

Bata said while there is already a higher probability that the local market will stay above the 3,300 level, investors should still expect correction to ensue since the market has already posted significant gains since Tuesday.

For this week alone, the local bellwether was already up by as much as 5.9 percent.

"There will be corrections but these will be minimal since the global market is already improving. It is possible that the threats of the Greece and a financial contagion spreading to Europe might have arleady been factored in by investors," Bata said.

For now, he said investors will focus on the next agenda of Philippines' incoming president.

Most stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed.

Stock price of Ayala Land, Inc. and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. improved by 7.27 percent and 3.88 percent, respectively.

Share price of heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. also rose by 0.6 percent on Thursday. The telephone giant reported a 19 percent growth in profits from January to March over the same period last year.



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