Local stocks get lift from trade talks

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By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE main index ended on a high note this week as investors turned bullish after positive developments on the Sino-US trade talks and the Philippine central bank’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) picked up 136.56 points or 1.76% to close at 7,877.63 on Friday, while the broader all shares index added 63.32 points or 1.38% to end at 4,662.07.

“The market rebounded, recovering losses for the subdued trading for the past four days amid the external factors such as the US-China positive news on the trade deal,” Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan of Philstocks Financial, Inc. said in a text message Friday.

Several foreign news outlets reported late Thursday US President Donald J. Trump has agreed to a trade agreement with China in principle, ahead of the Dec. 15 deadline for imposing tariffs on Chinese goods.

Citing people familiar with the talks, US supposedly agreed to roll back tariffs on Chinese consumer goods, while China committed to increase spending on US agricultural goods.

Wall Street rejoiced at the end of Thursday’s trading, as increases were recorded in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index (0.79%), the S&P 500 index (0.86%) and the Nasdaq Composite index (0.73%).

The rally was also felt in Asia Pacific on Friday, where Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices grew 2.55% and 1.59%, respectively. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index also gained 0.46%, China’s Shanghai SE Composite index increased 1.78% and South Korea’s Kospi index rose 1.54%.

Aside from external factors, Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ decision to maintain interest rates also affected the market’s performance on Friday.

“Investors were also reacting when the Monetary Board of the central bank kept the key interest rates unchanged in yesterday’s meeting, citing the benign inflation environment and making the currency firm,” he said in a mobile message Friday.

The central bank decided during Thursday’s policy meeting to keep the interest rate on the overnight reverse repurchase facility at 4%, on the overnight deposit at 3.5% and on lending facilities at 4.5%.

All sectoral indices at the PSE ended in green territory. Leading were industrial which rose 132.16 points or 1.38% to 9,722.08, property which expanded 116.25 points or 2.85% to 4,193.94 and mining and oil which grew 102.98 points or 1.39% to 7,521.46.

Holding firms climbed 88.18 points or 1.17% to 7,633.31, services increased 27.69 points or 1.85% to 1,525.19 and financials gained 14.65 points or 0.78% to 1,903.17.

Value turnover on Friday stood at P7.49 billion with 714.47 million issues changing hands, up from P6.26 billion with 591.09 million issues on Thursday.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 123 against 61. A total of 55 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors turned bullish with a net buying of P309.55 million on Friday from Thursday’s net selling of P387.41 million.