PSEi sets fresh record in Wall Street’s wake

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By Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo

THE Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) has set a new all-time high on Friday, the latest in a string of records propelled by investor optimism over the Philippine economy and corporate earnings.

Philippine stocks took the cue from Wall Street’s gains overnight that saw the Dow industrials break above the 25,000 for the first time.

The bellwether PSEi closed at 8,770, a gain of 30.17 points or 0.35%. The all-shares index closed at 5,076.32, higher by 16.57 points or 0.33%.

“Our market has breached records for the first three days of 2018 after a string of favorable news in the local scenario buoyed investors’ sentiment,” Jervin S. de Celis, equities trader at Timson Securities, Inc., said in a text message.

“The above 7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth prospects, the expected higher government spending, and double digit earnings per share (EPS) growth for the blue chips were the reason behind the rally of the index from the 8,500 level to as high as 8,858,” Jervin S. de Celis, equities trader at Timson Securities, Inc., said in a text message.

Analysts said that Philippine economic growth can be expected to accelerate further this year, above 7% given favorable domestic and global conditions despite commodity price pressures from a revised tax law.

First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) has a 7-7.5% growth forecast for this year, faster than its 6.5-7% estimate for last year.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez told reporters on Thursday that disbursements grew by 13.8% for 2017, which would mean P2.901 trillion, based from recorded P2.549-trillion overall disbursements in 2016.

“This is an indication that investors are pricing in these news in the market already as macroeconomic fundamentals appear to be really attractive. For this reason, foreigners have bought P730 million worth of shares this week,” Mr. de Celis added.

“Philippine markets ended the week on another record high, while U.S. stocks posted their third consecutive day of gains on Thursday,” Luis A. Limlingan, managing director of Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a text message.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 25,075.13, breaching 25,000 mark for the first time. The S&P 500 closed at 2,724.85 and Nasdaq Composite at 7,077.92.

Five of the PSEi’s six sub-indices gained. Financials went up by 1.50 points or 0.07% to close at 2,253.48; industrials by 155.84 points or 1.37% at 11,500.13; holding firms by 9.67 points or 0.11% at 8,940.68; mining and oil by 70.22 points or 0.61% at 11,599.49; and property by 41.98 points or 1.03% at 4,096.22.

Services closed at 1,606.65, losing 11.76 points or 0.73%.

Total value traded was P10.57 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers 126 to 87 while 51 stocks were unchanged.