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FTSE rebalancing boosts PSEi

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange — PHOTO BY SANTIAGO J. ARNAIZ

LOCAL STOCKS rose Friday — and for the second week in a row — on the back of portfolio adjustments in the face of Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) rebalancing and as uncertainty over a United States-China trade deal and Brexit drove funds towards major Asian markets.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index edged up 0.61% or 47.86 points to 7,798.28 — nearly flat from March 8’s 7,797.11 finish — while the broader all-shares index rose 0.58% or 28.02 points to 4,813.03.

“Our index closed higher as the FTSE rebalancing takes effect today,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Jervin S. De Celis said in a mobile phone message on Friday.

Investors abroad remained predominantly optimistic for a second consecutive day, ending Friday with P1.811-billion net foreign buying that was more than five times Thursday’s P322.875 million.

Mr. De Celis noted that foreigners purchased index heavyweights such as SM Prime Holdings, Inc.,which closed 3.5% up sy P38.40 apiece, and SM Investments Corp., which rose 0.97% to P934 each.

“JGS (JG Summit Holdings, Inc. which closed up 1.05% at P61.05 apiece), SMC (San Miguel Corp., up 1.28% at P174.20) and FB (San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc., up 2.31% at P106.50 each) which were included in the FTSE large cap index and foreigners bought P1.6 billion worth of shares of the three companies,” he said.




“So I think the last-minute buying of foreigners due to the rebalancing lifted our market today even in the absence of any strong catalyst in the local scene.”

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan attributed the movement in Friday’s session to the delayed Brexit and US-China trade deal. “Funds focused on Philippine shares as the US-China trade meeting maybe delayed and the Brexit vote to postpone Article 50,” Mr. Limlingan said in a text message on Friday.

News during the day said US President Donald J. Trump and Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping won’t meet to sign a trade deal until next month at the earliest, and that British lawmakers approved on Thursday a motion for a delay in Brexit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.01%, 0.1% and 0.13%, respectively, on Thursday while many major Asian bourses gained on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and TOPIX, the Shanghai SE Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI rising 0.77%, 0.9%, 1.04%, 0.56% and 0.95%, respectively.

All six sectoral indices at home ended in positive territory, with property increasing by 1.71% or 67.03 points to 3,969.89; mining and oil rising 0.69% or 56.02 points to 8,135.77; financials going up 0.47% or 8.45 points to 1,770.81; services gaining 0.43% or 6.88 points to 1,579.08; industrial edging up 0.03% or 4.35 points to 11,556.33; and holding firms inching up 0.02% or 1.74 points to 7,673.47.

Friday saw 1.375 billion shares worth P20.793 billion change hands compared to Thursday’s 1.799 billion shares worth P5.599 billion.

Stocks that gained outnumbered those that lost 103 to 88, while 41 others ended Friday flat. — Janina C. Lim