Stock Market

Stocks track Wall Street higher on US jobs data

Posted on February 07, 2017

LOCAL STOCKS finished slightly higher on Monday amid positive external factors after sliding for four straight days on a spate of negative news that hammered a number of issues, specifically mining stocks.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 0.93% or 67.70 points to close at 7,294.40. The all-shares index also advanced by 0.51% or 22.57 points to 4,397.60.

“Philippine markets got off to a green start,” said Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corp., citing the gains of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index.

Mr. Limlingan said the Dow reclaimed 20,000 as it gained by 186.55 points or a rise of 0.90% to finish at 20,071.46. Nasdaq climbed by 0.50% to close at fresh record high. He said the positive outcome came after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to scale back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.

“A mixed January jobs report -- one that delivered stronger than expected payroll additions but also tepid wage growth, which brought into question the possibility that the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) may not tighten policy next month -- also provided a tailwind for stocks,” he said.

Mr. Limlingan added that the surprise increase in interest rates by the People’s Bank of China “had little effect in overall market as the aim to soak up liquidity will help bring some sense into the recent sharp run-up in highly leveraged sectors.”

Sectoral indices finished in positive territory except for the mining and oil counter which lost another 0.28% or 33.56 points to end the session at 11,881.59.

Meanwhile, the property subindex was the biggest gainer at 1.87% or 61.74 points to 3,348.88. Industrial stocks followed with a 0.77% increase or 85.33 points to 11,170.26; holding firms gained 0.58% or 42.81 points to 7,377.62; financials went up 0.34% or 6.16 points to 1,769.26; and services climbed 0.23% or 3.40 points to end at 1,425.02.

Trading value improved to P8.22 billion from the P5.67 billion seen on Friday, with 3.61 billion stocks changing hands.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 97 to 91, while 48 issues ended flat.

Foreign investors, however, sold more stocks than they bought, resulting in a net foreign selling worth P373.20 million, a reversal of Friday’s net purchases of P52.65 million.

Analysts said the market still has a potential to rise in the coming days.

“We have not turned bearish on the market. It is still a bull but only in the sense that it hasn’t been able to ‘enter’ into bear territory,” A&A Securities, Inc. said in its trading post for this week.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets likewise edged higher on Monday, with prospects of a rate hike next month by the US Federal Reserve dimming as data showed wages barely rose, softening the dollar and lending support to emerging markets. -- Victor V. Saulon with Reuters