Bourse recovers to post weekly gain

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People look at Rolex watches in Beijing in this Sep. 5, 2015 photo. China announced a faster-than-expected 6.8% gross domestic product growth in 2017's fourth quarter that helped lift investor sentiment Asia-wide. — AFP

ANTICIPATION of relatively fast Philippine fourth-quarter gross domestic product(GDP) growth and China’s better-than-expected (GDP) expansion for the same period fueled local stocks to recover from two days of decline and end the week up, as Friday saw four of the six sectoral indices close with gains and foreigners remaining net buyers for the sixth straight trading day.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended Friday up 95.18 points or 1.07% up at 8,915.92, fueling a 1.149% week-on-week rise, while the all-shares index edged up by 35.2 points or 0.68% to 5,151.07.

“The bellwether index opened in the red, but immediately crossed into green territory,” RCBC Securities, Inc. said in a stock market weekend recap, noting that “the market managed to climb” week-on-week, “supported by… net foreign buying”.

Reuters reported close to noon that China saw a better-than-expected 6.8% expansion in 2017’s final three months, while the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in the afternoon raised third-quarter GDP growth rate by 0.1 of a percentage point to 7.0% and Moody’s Analytics said it expected the fourth-quarter pace — to be reported by the PSA on Jan. 23 — to clock 6.7%, which is the average of the first three quarters.

“Philippine markets climbed up once more on the back of encouraging growth data from neighboring China. Gross domestic product [growth] in China hit 6.8%, confirming a return to growth in China following a slew of reform amid a high debt issue,” Luis A. Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a mobile phone message.

Jervin S. de Celis, equities trader at Timson Securities, Inc., said that Bank of the Philippine Islands’ 7.39% increase to P123.50 apiece, the 2.04% hike of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. to P110.20 each — marking its “second day of recovery from its plunge last Wednesday” — and GT Capital Holdings, Inc.’s 6.34% surge to P1,392 “lifted the PSEi today”.

“It’s as if the PSEi became a flea market after investors scrambled to buy… banking stocks at bargain prices,” Mr. de Celis said in a text message.

“The next catalyst that we are anticipating is the GDP announcement in a few days, so the PSEi may stay between 8,700-8,900 until the data is released.”

Counterparts elsewhere in Asia provided some lift as well, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and TOPIX Index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, The Shanghai Composite Index, South Korea’s KOSPI, the Straits Times Index and the Jakarta Composite Index rising by 0.19%, 0.69%, 0.41%, 0.41%, 0.18%, 0.82% and 0.28%, respectively.

Locally, financials led the climb, rising by 57.13 points or 2.56% to finish 2,288.23, followed by holding firms that went up 108.31 or 1.19% to 9,143.9, industrials that gained 59.65 points or 0.5% to 11,866.53, as well as mining and oil that edged up by 1.41 points or a nearly flat 0.01% to 12,027.82.

Two sectoral indices fell: services by 6.27 points or 0.38% to 1,638.77 and property by 4.47 points or 0.11% to 4,035.44.

Friday saw stocks that declined outnumber those that gained 127 to 105, while 54 others were unchanged.

Some 914.34 million shares worth P10.021 billion changed hands, compared to Thursday’s 1.143 billion shares worth P9.976 billion.

Foreigners remained predominantly buyers for a sixth straight trading session on Friday, although the P92.103-million net buying was the smallest amount in that period. — with inputs from P. P. C. Marcelo