PHL stocks soar past 8,700 on positive sentiment

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By Krista A.M. Montealegre,
National Correspondent

STOCKS trekked higher to open the year, breaking past the 8,700 level for the first time to end at a fresh record high, on sustained buying momentum amid expectations of another year of strong gains.

PHL stocks soar past 8,700 on positive sentimentThe benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rallied to a new all-time high and intraday peak of 8,724.13 on Wednesday, surging 165.71 points or 1.93% from its previous close.

The broader all-shares index climbed 64.68 points or 1.29% to 5,054.65.

The local market extended a record-breaking rally to a third straight session after a late surge pushed the PSEi to all-time high at the close of 2017.

“Philippine markets resumed their bullish climb on opening day with another record high. Investors are continuing to make their bets on issues they believe will outperform for the rest of the year,” Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a mobile phone message.

“There was strong momentum buying from last year. Investors are positioning themselves for another good year due to the tax reform program, strong economy and infrastructure projects taking off,” Astro C. del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance, Inc., said in a phone interview.

Coming off a two-day break, local stocks rode on the extended gains in Asian shares, buoyed by a rally in technology companies that lifted US stocks to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 104.79 points or 0.42% to 24,824.01; the S&P 500 rose 22.18 points or 0.83% to 2,695.81; and the Nasdaq Composite gained 103.51 points or 1.50% to 7,006.90.

All counters ended the session in the green led by holding firms, which soared 253.88 points or 2.94% to 8,870.39.

Property added 90.31 points or 2.27% to 4,068.50; services increased by 16.94 points or 1.04% to 1,636.78; mining and oil advanced 96.22 points or 0.83% to 11,598.80; industrials jumped 68.08 points or 0.60% to 11,299.38; and financials inched up 10.47 points or 0.46% to 2,240.64.

Value turnover picked up slightly to P7.29 billion from P7.26 billion, as 712.83 million shares changed hands.

Advancers edged out decliners, 118 to 102, while 38 issues were unchanged.

Foreign investors remained in buying territory albeit at a slower pace of P348 million compared to the P1.79 billion registered in the prior session.

“The market will eventually correct — that’s the art of supply and demand. Investors are looking for an excuse to take profits but as of now, wala pa (there are none),” First Grade Finance’s Mr. Del Castillo said.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets also rose on Wednesday as a bevy of strong manufacturing data that underscored an upturn in world economic growth boosted risk appetite, lifting broader Asian stocks to a fresh decade high. — with Reuters