PSEi rallies as hopes rise on Trump-Xi meeting

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LOCAL stocks rallied on Friday amid reports of the trade dispute between the US and China may soon be settled, and expectations the inflation rate will ease this year.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 1.71% or 136.68 points to 8,144.16. The broader all-shares index climbed 1.65% to 79.66 points to 4,909.51.

“Trade talks headlined the surge in Philippine stocks today as [United States] Pres. [Donald J.]Trump wanted a large deal to put a close to the tension,” said Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan in a mobile message on Friday.

According to news reports, Mr. Trump said he will soon meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to attempt to seal a comprehensive trade deal.

“We can attribute the buying to the positive news coming from overseas: the US-China trade talks continue to progress, the reports of Fed making stand of no longer pursuing a hike, “ Astro C. del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance, Inc., said in a phone interview yesterday.

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday signaled a pause in rate increases, saying it would be “patient” before making any further moves.

“At the local front, most investors are positive given the prospects of a possibly lower inflation this year,” Mr. Del Castillo added.

Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu said the market has been consolidating in the last few weeks, hovering around the 8,000, with resistance at 8,200.

“When all the first quarter reports show some stronger results, then we may go beyond the resistance,” Mr. Liu said in a phone interview on Friday.

All counters ended yesterday with gains. Property led the surge, going up 2.15% or 84.20 points to 4,005.76; followed by holding firms which grew 1.72% or 136.77 points to 8,105.23.

Financials rose 1.60% or 29.14 points to 1,854.34; while services expanded 1.51% or 23.91 points to 1,606.20 and industrial edged up 1.34% or 156.85 points to 11,824.03. Mining and oil inched up 0.55% or 46.31 points to 8,549.68.

Advancers trumped losers 171 to 49, while 36 issues were unchanged.

Turnover totaled P8.97 billion as 2.42 billion issues switched hands. This was lower than the P10.81 billion on Thursday when some 2.67 billion issues switched hands.

Foreigners continued to buy shares with net purchases on Friday at P1.02 billion, rising from the previous trading day’s P818.65 million. — Janina C. Lim