STOCKS ended higher on Friday after the central bank cut benchmark rates to new record lows, drawing positive reactions from investors.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 172.17 points or 2.46% to close at 7,169.79 on Friday, while the broader all shares index gained 81.85 points or 2.22% to finish at 4,219.39.

“The PSEi had an exceptional day rallying by almost 2.5%, allowing it to end with a substantial gain for the week.
It may have been the surprise interest cut from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) that drew this extremely positive reaction,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in a mobile message on Friday.

He added that the week’s gains “marked three consecutive weeks of advances for the PSEi.”

The Monetary Board on Thursday slashed rates on the BSP’s overnight reverse repurchase, lending, and deposit facilities by 25 basis points (bps) to fresh record lows of 2%, 2.5%, and 1.5%, respectively.

Aside from the interest rate cut, the PSEi crossed the 7,100 mark as investors were hopeful that US lawmakers can pass a coronavirus stimulus package, Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a separate mobile message.

US stocks also recorded gains: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices inched up by 0.15 %; 4.03 % and 3.37 %, respectively. Asian stocks were mixed when the local bourse closed on Friday.

Back home, all PSEi indices recorded gains: mining and oil by 229.54 points or 2.88%; holding firms by 206.37 points or 2.86%; industrials by 155.13 points or 1.7%; property by 99.63 points or 2.83%; financials by 38.95 points or 2.8%; and services by 7.56 points or 0.48%.

Some 32.04 billion issues valued at P10.94 billion switched hands on Friday, higher than the previous day’s 11.78 billion issues valued at P11.12 billion.

Advancers led decliners, 159 against 66, with 45 names closing unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers, with net inflows recorded at P211.34 million on Friday from net sales worth P1.09 billion in the previous session. — Angelica Y. Yang