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Shares eke out gains as market concerns ease

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Photo taken on August 14, 2014, at the PSE in Makati City, Philippines. — BW FILE PHOTO

LOCAL STOCKS managed to post gains amid see-saw trading on Wednesday, tracking the increase in global markets after concerns on higher inflation and rate hikes started to ease.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 0.32% or 27.97 points to end at 8,598.11 yesterday.

The broader all-shares index likewise added 0.38% or 19.59 points to 5,072.80.

“Philippines and US stocks eked out small gains, but were still showing signs of renewed intraday turbulence, as markets struggled to comprehend a new set of volatilities, ahead of key inflation data and doubts that last week’s brutal selling will be short-lived,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.16% or 39.18 points to 24,640.45. The S&P 500 index edged higher by 0.26% or 6.94 points to 2,662.94, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.45% or 31.55 points to 7,013.51.

“Local equities may have also taken their cue from gains in the US market last night. Recall that inflation expectations have turned benign, easing concerns of a faster-than-expected pace of Fed[eral Reserve] rate hikes,” Papa Securities Deputy Head of Research Arabelle C. Maghirang said in an e-mail on Wednesday.

The market saw the release of full-year financial results of Ayala Land, Inc. on Wednesday. The property firm reported a 21% growth in attributable profit to P25.3 billion, lifted by a 14% increase in revenues to P142.3 billion. 

Ms. Maghirang said these factors helped offset the drop in Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s (MPIC) stock price by 8.65% to P5.60 each. The infrastructure conglomerate disclosed on Wednesday that the government filed an application with the High Court of Singapore to set aside the arbitral award for Maynilad Water Services, Inc.

The industrials sector was the lone sub-index that ended in the red yesterday, although with a modest dip of 0.76 point to 11,396.87. 

Property led gainers as it climbed 1.23% or 47.60 points to 3,916.20, followed by mining and oil, which added 0.88% or 101.27 points to 11,498.04. Services rose 0.72% or 12.30 points to 1,719.21; financials inched up 0.23% or 5.12 points to 2,211.13; while holding firms was flat with an increase of 0.39 point to 8,709.17.

Some 1.80 billion issues switched hands for a value turnover of P8.92 billion, up from Tuesday’s P7.66 billion. Decliners trumped advancers, 124 to 85, while 50 issues were unchanged.

Foreigners were sellers for the 15th consecutive day, posting net outflows of P719.46 million, although lower than the P841.65 million recorded on Tuesday.

MPIC is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., maintains interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arra B. Francia