LOCAL STOCKS surged on Thursday as investors continued to buy shares in anticipation of better inflation figures for December.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) soared 2.55% or 191.40 points to close at 7,680.60 yesterday, sustaining the previous session’s upward momentum. The broader all-shares index likewise gained 1.98% or 89.61 points to close at 4,610.28.
“This is the big move that we have been expecting. It may be investors anticipating better economic number that will be announced next week,” Eagle Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.
The Philippine Statistics Authority will release the December inflation print on Friday, Jan. 4, which analysts expect will be slower than November figure of six percent. It will also release the country’s fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth report next week.
Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez, meanwhile, said the main index may have followed the EPHE’s 2.3% gain overnight, referring to the iShares MSCI Philippines exchange-traded fund which tracks the investment results of a broad-based index composed of local stocks.
“Net foreign flows notably registered an inflow of P197 million, breaking the 10-day streak of outflows we’ve been seeing. This is ahead of [Friday]’s December inflation release figure,” Mr. Perez said in a separate e-mail.
All sectoral indices ended in positive territory, led by the mining and oil counter which advanced 3.95% or 330.28 points to 8,676.71.
“Even the mining and oil sector performed extremely well [on Thursday] as investors saw mining companies as bargains after they were battered the whole year,” Mr. Mangun said.
Holding firms climbed 3.44% or 251.94 points to 7,569.83; property firmed up 2.47% or 91.76 points to 3,805.82; and financials rose 1.93% or 34.17 points to 1,802.42. Services also closed 1.84% or 26.80 points higher at 1,477.26, while industrials added 0.66% or 72.75 points to 11,014.71.
Turnover was back to average levels at P7.16 billion after some 985.18 million issues switched hands, versus the previous session’s P3.36 billion.
Market breadth favored gainers over losers, 135 to 61, while 44 names ended flat.
Eighteen out of the 20 most actively traded stocks ended on a positive note, led by Philex Mining Corp. (up 12.65%); Puregold Price Club, Inc. (up 5%); SM Investments Corp. (up 4.64%); and JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (up 4.63%).
The PSEi’s ascent came amid the flat performance of markets in the United States overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.08% or 18.78 points to close at 23,346.24. The S&P 500 index went up 0.13% or 3.18 points to 2,510.03, while the Nasdaq Composite index also rose 0.46% or 30.66 points to 6,665.94.
Meanwhile, Asian markets ended mixed as some recovered from the sharp losses seen on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia