By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
LOCAL EQUITIES rebounded on Thursday as investors picked up selected stocks at the last minute, while factoring in the expected rate hikes from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the United States Federal Reserve.
The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 0.72% or 52.38 points to 7,320.59, ending two days of decline. The broader all-shares index likewise rose 0.52% or 23.34 points to 4,483.81.
“Trade was listless for most of today’s session but ended with a surge of last-minute positioning in the index stocks such as GLO (Globe Telecom, Inc.), RLC (Robinsons Land Corp.), RRHI (Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc.), and SM (SM Investments Corp.). The market has already discounted today’s rate hike,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said via text on Thursday.
The US Federal Open Market Committee announced yesterday a rate hike of 25 basis points (bps), bringing benchmark interest rates to 2-2.25%.
The BSP also raised its key interest rates by 50 bps after market hours on Thursday, as expected, as the central bank cited “persistent signs of sustained and broadening price pressures.”
“With the BSP delivering on expectations and indeed raising rates by 50 bps after the market’s close, we might see confidence returning to the central bank as it remains steadfast to control inflation,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.
Mr. Perez added that some positivity might also be seen in the PSEi on Friday due to the rate hike coupled by possible quarter-end window dressing.
Meanwhile, PNB Securities’ Mr. Lisbona expects the market to remain between the 7,200 to 7,500 level in light of external concerns.
“External concerns such as the ongoing trade war between the US and China will still hound the market, consider also that the coming winter season will push oil prices higher and will have an impact on local inflation numbers,” Mr. Lisbona said.
Sectoral indices were split between gainers and losers. Property surged 1.32% or 48.35 points to 3,708.57, followed by holding firms which rose 1.19% or 84.97 points to 7,220 and services that went up 0.28% or 4.26 points to 1,485.13.
Meanwhile, industrials lost 0.59% or 64.04 points to 10,780.89 and financials slipped 0.04% or 0.64 point to 1,589.76. The mining and oil counter barely moved, slipping by 0.28 point to 9,043.22.
Turnover inched up to P5.05 billion after some 667.52 million issues switched hands, compared with the previous session’s P4.94 billion.
Foreign investors remained on selling mode with net sales at P520.50 million, almost unchanged from Wednesday.
The PSEi bucked the generally negative performance seen overseas which were weighed down by the US Fed’s third rate hike.