Philippine stocks avoid crashing ahead of G20 meeting

16:50, June 25, 2010      

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The Philippine stock market was among the few survivors that evaded Friday's global carnage that sent the U.S. market and the Asian market crashing ahead of the G20 meeting over the weekend.

After opening 13 points lower and touching its intra-day low of 3,315.85 -- 18 points lower from Thursday's close -- the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index reversed its momentum and finished 0.55 percent or 18.49 points higher to 3,352.46.

Friday's rebound not only ended the local stock market's three- day decline but likewise erased the losses it made this week to post a week-on-week gain of 0.5 percent.

Similarly, the broader all-share index gained 0.4 percent or 8. 54 points to 2,139.07, although three -- industrial, holding firm and the property sectors -- of the six counters extended their losses.

The trading volume reached 2.78 billion shares valued at 3.53 billion pesos (76.52 million U.S. dollars) with foreign buyers beating sellers with 407.49 million pesos (8.82 million U.S. dollars).

Advancers led decliners 57 to 38 while 75 shares did not move.

Financial firms and heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) were said to be the reason behind the market' s positive performance. Investors took an interest on the telephone giant after continuously slipping for six days, Elizabeth Abadillo of Angping & Associates Securities, Inc. told Xinhua in an interview.

Bank-related issues, meanwhile, have been "consolidating" during the past days, she said. Philippines' three biggest banks -- Sy-led Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc., Ayala-led the Bank of Philippine Islands as well as Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.-- were among the most actively traded issues on Friday.

Stock prices of the firms went up by 1.06 percent, 1.12 percent and 5 percent respectively.

"Investors are usually influenced by the developments overseas especially the movement of the Dow Jones industrial average but today it seems as if we were unaffected," Abadillo said.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.41 percent of its value on Thursday to close at 10,152.80 despite government data showing that there were few Americans who filed for unemployment claims last week over the previous week.

The edge of the Philippines, the analyst said, is the upcoming inauguration of Benigno Aquino III. who will take his oath as the country's 15th president on June 30. Historically, investors are optimistic whenever there is a new government, she said.

"We are also approaching the end of the month and there were some window dressing in today's trading that pulled up the equities," Abadillo said.

Stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed. Aside from PLDT and the three banks, other issues that went up are port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corp.

"After five attempts, the local stock market is still waiting for a conclusive rally past the resistance at 3,330. Investors have been very optimistic lately and have been trying to push the main index higher and higher," Prince Yeung, an analyst from AB Capital Securities, Inc., said.

While local developments have cooperated for the most part, external factors have kept the local index from moving higher, Yeung said.

However, he believed that the local index is still poised to reach new heights next week -- despite the shortened trading session -- although it might have to find new reasons if it wants to move higher further.



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