SM Prime, Ayala help fuel bourse’s recovery

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SHARES bounced back on Thursday as index heavyweights SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH) and Ayala Corp. (AC) recovered from heavy losses in the previous session.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 62.50 points or 0.79% to close at 7,927.20, while broader all-shares index likewise firmed up by 28.71 points or 0.6% to end at 4,743.84.

“The PSEi managed to recover today as it closed in the green… AC and SMPH — the two heavyweights that brought down the index yesterday — notably closed in the green with the former ending 0.44% up and the latter at 3.51%,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail after Thursday’s trades.

SM Prime was sold down last Wednesday on news that the Department of Interior and Local Government opposed reclamation projects in Manila Bay. The firm has a P100-billion reclamation project covering 600 hectares planned in the area.


Ayala stocks had also plunged the previous session after Japanese firm Mitsubishi Corp. cut its stake in the firm at a discount.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan attributed the PSEi’s rise to regional sentiment. “Philippine shares made a comeback, driven by the overnight regional session, as investors cheered mostly positive earnings from financial institutions amid uncertainty from a partial government shutdown [in the United States],” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

Wall Street’s main indices gained as firms like Goldman Sachs reported good earnings even as the US investigation on Chinese tech firm Huawei revived fears about a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.59%, 0.22% and 0.15% higher respectively.

Back home, four sectoral indices moved to positive territory, led by property which soared 3.27% or 125.65 points to 3,957.23. Financials rose 0.25% or 4.59 points to 1,809.23; holding firms went up 0.23% or 18.13 points to 7,851.25; while mining and oil added 0.05% or 4.71 points to 8,803.23.

In contrast, industrials dropped 0.36% or 42.34 points to 11,458.24, while services shed 0.22% or 3.45 points to 1,540.23.

Turnover thinned to 1.22 billion shares worth P14.17 billion from Wednesday’s 1.13 billion shares worth P20.15 billion. Stocks that advanced slightly outnumbered those that lost 101 to 99, while 51 others were unchanged.

Foreign investors were back to buying mode with P3.84-billion net purchases on Thursday, turning around from Wednesday’s P1.19-billion net sales.

Papa Securities’ Mr. Perez noted that the foreign inflow was mostly due to Puregold Price Club, Inc.’s block sale. The Lucio L. Co-led supermarket operator disclosed its P4.69-billion top-up placement on Thursday.