Stock Market

PHL stocks rise on bargain hunting ahead of BSP

Posted on March 24, 2017

STOCKS saw an uptick on Thursday on bargain hunting and ahead of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) decision to keep monetary policy settings steady

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.63% or 46.10 points to 7,301.03.

The broader all shares index went up 0.40% or 17.64 points to 4,386.67.

“It looks like the market is positioning ahead of the BSP’s widely expected decision to keep rates steady for the meantime,” Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona, president of PNB Securities, Inc., said in a text message yesterday.

After the stock market closed, the central bank, at the conclusion of its policy review, announced it kept interest rates steady at 3% for its overnight reverse repurchase facility. The corresponding interest rates on the overnight lending and deposit facilities were also unchanged. It likewise left reserve requirement ratios untouched.

The BSP said its decision is based on its assessment that the outlook for inflation remains manageable, consistent with favorable growth prospects.

Mr. Lisbona said investors should be on the watch for global oil prices and its effect on local inflation for clues which may influence the Philippine central bank’s decision in its next policy meeting.

“Our market is also factoring that the BSP will maintain its rates when the decision comes out later today with some hints as to when it may actually raise later in the year if ever,” Luis A. Limlingan, managing director of Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a text message on Thursday.

Mr. Limlingan added that local companies recovered faster than regional markets even as US stocks “bounced” back from their worst loss in five months amid opportunistic but cautious bargain hunting.

Subindices ended mixed on Thursday. Holding firms went up 1.49% or 108.50 points to 7,377.76; services climbed 1.03% or 15.20 points to 1,490.61; and mining and oil rose 0.62% or 73.69 points to 11,945.70.

Meanwhile, property went down 0.32% or 10.43 points to 3,217.01; financials slid 0.11% or 2.12 points or 1,830.52; and industrial inched down 0.09% or 10 points to 10,962.52.

Advancers beat losers, 94 to 83, while 58 issues were unchanged.

Value turnover stood at P5.58 billion, lower than the previous day’s P7.73 billion, as 1.07 billion shares changed hands.

Net foreign selling declined to P386.06 million yesterday from Wednesday’s P958.84-million net outflow.

PNB’s Mr. Lisbona said the PSEi is still range-bound between 7,150 and 7,350.

Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with Asian peers on Thursday, reversing the previous session’s losses on cues from Wall Street which ended mixed overnight with an upside bias.

The Nasdaq gained 0.48% and the S&P 500 closed 0.19% higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat, after all three touched their lowest in about five weeks earlier in the session. -- J.C. Lim with Reuters