LOCAL SHARES climbed further on Thursday as US markets logged record highs, with investors also factoring in the widely expected decision from the Federal Reserve to leave interest rates steady.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.10% or 8.27 points to 8,045.78 on Thursday, a new high for the year and its best finish since Aug. 10, 2016’s 8,051.40.
The broader all-shares index inched up 0.03% or 1.78 points to 4,781.58 points.

The PSEi is now just a few points shy of its all-time high of 8,127.48 logged last April 10, 2015. Year to date, the index is up 17.6%.

“Local shares traded on a slightly positive note based on new highs… after Fed kept interest rate unchanged and signaled that inflation remains persistently below its target,” Luis A. Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a text message yesterday.

As broadly expected by investors, the Fed maintained its benchmark lending rate and said it was continuing the slow path of monetary tightening. It said it expected to start winding down its massive holdings of bonds “relatively soon” in a sign of confidence in the US economy.

Following this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 97.58 points or 0.45% to 21,711.01; the S&P 500 gained 0.7 point or 0.03% to 2,477.83; and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.57 points or 0.16% to 6,422.75.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with global peers on Thursday, as risk appetite returned with the likelihood that a dovish Fed would leave US rates low for longer than some had expected. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.9% to its highest since December 2007.

Joylin F. Telagen, equity research analyst at IB Gimenez Securities, Inc., noted that the market reached 8,106.74 points intraday, nearing the index’s all-time high. “I think we will some correction ahead of release of corporate earnings.”

“As long as we’re able to sustain that [and] the market doesn’t move below 8,000, then that should be okay,” Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona, president of PNB Securities, Inc., said by phone.

Most counters ended in the green yesterday. Holding firms climbed 0.56% or 45.16 points to 8,011.78; mining and oil went up 0.53% or 69.07 points to 13,049.57; industrials rose 0.35% or 39.87 points to 11,157.77; and financials gained 0.19% or 3.71 points to close Thursday’s session at 1,961.22.

Meanwhile, property dropped 0.68% or 26.62 points to 3,837.43 and services fell 0.38% or 6.58 points to 1,696.17.

Decliners trumped advancers, 115 to 94, while 53 names closed unchanged. Value turnover went down to P7.13 billion yesterday from the P8.17 billion recorded on Wednesday, with 1.96 billion shares changing hands.

Net foreign buying thinned to P626.26 million yesterday from the P693.26 million logged in the previous session. — JCL with Reuters