By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
THE MAIN INDEX returned to the 8,000 level on Thursday as investors shrugged off the lower-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) data for 2018.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.94% or 75.25 points to close at 8,064.90 yesterday. The broader all-shares index likewise climbed 0.98% or 47.22 points to 4,861.23.
“Philippine investors brushed off the slightly lower- than-expected 4Q GDP result and rode the positive sentiment of regional markets to finish in the green,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the Philippine economy grew by 6.2% in 2018, lower than 2017’s GDP growth of 6.7%. The full-year figure is also well below the government’s already downgraded goal of 6.5-6.9%. GDP growth in the fourth quarter alone stood at 6.1%, lower than the market consensus of 6.3%.
“PSEi managed to close in the green today despite the lower-than-expected fourth quarter 2018 GDP of only 6.1% versus consensus of 6.3%,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail on Thursday.
The PSA attributed the slower growth to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Meanwhile, the government’s economic managers remain optimistic that the country will be able to reach its 7-8% GDP growth target for 2019.
The PSEi mirrored the positivity seen in markets abroad. In Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.7% higher or 171.14 points to 24,575.62. The S&P 500 index added 0.22% or 5.80 points to 2,638.70, while the Nasdaq Composite index went up 0.08% or 5.41 points to 7,025.77.
All sectoral indices ended in positive territory, except for the mining and oil counter, which plunged 3.41% or 297.03 points to 8,401.30.
Financials rose 1.36% or 24.61 points to 1,830.04; services jumped 1.35% or 20.93 points to 1,567.34; industrials firmed up 1.21% or 140.73 points to 11,759.16; holding firms advanced 0.74% or 59.41 points to 7,991.63; while property added 0.23% or 9.23 points to 3,994.51.
Some 1.57 billion issues valued at P7.55 billion switched hands, higher than Wednesday’s P6.66 billion.
Advancers far outpaced decliners, 120 to 87, while 43 names were unchanged.
Foreign investors were on buying mode for the sixth straight session, posting net purchases of P789.79 million versus the previous session’s P219.66 million.
“With foreign inflows still persisting despite the lower-than- expected inflation figure, next resistance to look out for now still remains to be the 8,100 level. Also watch out for how US markets perform overnight,” Papa Securities’ Mr. Perez said on Thursday.