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Stocks climb further on earnings, easing tensions

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LOCAL EQUITIES climbed on Wednesday amid easing geopolitical tensions and as investors reacted to corporate results at the close of the earnings season.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index continued its ascent as it gained 0.46% or 37.18 points to close at 8,046.59 yesterday.

The broader all-shares index likewise rose 0.45% or 21.36 points to 4,751.09.

“Amid the silence on geopolitical concerns, we finally saw [first-half] earnings results drive the market,” RCBC Securities analyst Jeffrey Lucero said in a text message yesterday.

The market’s most actively traded stock was Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC), which gained P14 or 6.22% to close at P239 apiece. “Jollibee, which reported 14% earnings growth earlier this week, accounted for a significant part of the market’s gains,” Mr. Lucero added.

The company’s attributable profit was up by 18.1% during the second quarter to P1.96 billion, bringing its first-half net income attributable to the parent to P3.49 billion.

Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) joined the roster of most actively traded stocks as it climbed 10 centavos or 0.24% to P42.50 each. ALI recorded an 18% growth in its net income attributable to the parent to P5.95 billion during the second quarter.

“Philippine stocks traded higher despite a dull market coupled with low volume and a lack of conviction,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said.

“US stocks struggled for gains on Tuesday as investors scaled back buying after two straight sessions of advances amid better-than-expected retail sales and abatement of tensions between the United States and North Korea,” Mr. Limlingan said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5.28 points or 0.02% to 21,998.99, the S&P 500  lost 1.23 points or 0.05% to 2,464.61 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.22 points or 0.11% to 6,333.01.

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All local sectoral indices ended in positive territory, with the mining and oil counter ending 2.38% or 299.68 points higher to 12,877.56. The industrials sub-index followed with a gain of 1% or 109.81 points to 11,069.63; property added 0.48% or 18.45 points to 3,799.76; holding firms rose 0.41% or 32.9 points to 7,915.96; services went up 0.25% or 4.3 points to 1,701; and financials inched up by 0.09% or 1.85 points to 1,998.63.

The market saw a total of 1.54 billion issues change hands for a value turnover of P12.74 billion, more than double the P4.79 billion recorded on Tuesday.

Advancers beat decliners, 121 to 68, while 55 issues were unchanged.

Net foreign buying continued, albeit narrowing to P34.68 million on Wednesday from the P197.52 million recorded the previous trading day.

Other Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued in line with Asia as tensions in the Korean peninsula simmered down a little. In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1% — Arra B. Francia with Reuters





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