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PSE index climbs further as US stocks hit record

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THE MAIN INDEX maintained its rise on Wednesday after the trading break the previous day as US stocks hit record highs.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed higher by 4.57 points or 0.05% at 8,053.88

Meanwhile, the broader all-shares index finished lower by 2.26 points or 0.04% at 4,776.35.

“Local shares continued on their ascent albeit minimal as US stocks rose to all-time highs on Tuesday as financials received a boost from rising yields,” said Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corp.

The major Wall Street indexes hit record closing highs on Tuesday, with financial stocks leading the charge. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.49 points or 0.28% to 22,118.86; the S&P 500 gained 8.37 points or 0.34% to 2,496.48; and the Nasdaq Composite added 22.02 points or 0.34% to 6,454.28.

Mr. Limlingan said US markets rose after fears over Hurricane Irma and geopolitical tensions in Korea eased.

“Wall Street also digested comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on tax reform. European stocks rose for a fifth day with banks in the driver’s seat reflecting a rise in government bond yields,” he said.

Mr. Mnuchin said he was “hopeful” that tax reform would be accomplished by year’s end, adding the administration is thinking about backdating reform to Jan. 1.

Backdating “is still something we are considering and it would be a big boon for the economy,” he said at the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.

Mr. Limlingan added, however, that “price action was tempered by selling pressure” in tech stocks.

Some analysts said the PSEi might once again break the 8,100 level after recent developments here and abroad.

“Looks like we will retest 8,100 again soon,” Miko S. Sayo, a trader at Angping & Associates Securities, Inc., earlier said. “Let’s see if we can finally break above it.”

Four of the six sector indices managed to post gains, led by the mining and oil counter, which advanced by 172.42 points or 1.25% to finish at 13,944.68. Financial stocks inched up by 11.81 points or 0.6% to 1,978.31; industrials gained 22.91 points or 0.2% to 11,275.49; and property moved higher by 2.26 points or 0.05% to 3,808.29. On the other hand, services lost 20.64 points or 1.18% at 1,721.73, while holding firms gave up 15.85 points or 0.2% at 7,918.7.

Advancing stocks outpaced decliners at 108 to 96, while 45 issued finished unchanged. Value turnover stood at P12.88 billion or more than twice the previous trading day’s P6.1 billion. Volume of trade also improved to 1.36 billion from 899.17 million previously.

Foreigners changed course and bought more stocks than they sold, resulting in a net buying of P3.34 billion. Net selling on Monday reached P232 million.

BDO Unibank, Inc. was the most active stock yesterday, followed by Ayala Land, Inc. and SM Investments Corp. — Victor V. Saulon with Reuters

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