Shares rise to new high in shortened trading week

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SHARES jumped despite having only three trading days last week, allowing the main index to climb further and close the year at its 14th all-time high, as investors continued to express confidence in the government’s tax reform and infrastructure programs.

Shares rise to new high in shortened trading weekThe bellwether index climbed for the fifth straight day last Friday, gaining 0.27% or 23.33 points to 8,558.42. The market was also able to record a new intraday high of 8,640.04. On a yearly basis, the market jumped 25.1%.

Week on week, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 1.5%, with a value turnover of P17.26 billion.

“Philippine equities ended 2017 on a cheerful beat, as investors turned to prospects for the upcoming year following the passage of the tax reform program and encouraging leads overseas,” online brokerage firm 2TradeAsia.com said in a weekly market note.

Sectors that pushed the market up were financials, up 3.3% week on week; property which gained 1.9%; and mining and oil which saw a 1% uptick.

Foreigners turned buyers for the week, with net inflows ballooning to P1.13 billion against the P290-million average the week prior.

“We end the month of December up 3.7% while we end the year up 25.11%. Institutions traded bank stocks the most [last] week with BDO [Unibank, Inc.] up 6.8%, MBT (Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.) up 3.5% and BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) up 2%. On the other hand, retail investors were very active in 2nd tier real-estate companies like IDC (Italpinas Development Corp.) up 31.1% and HOUSE (8990 Holdings, Inc.) up 5.5%,” Eagle Equities, Inc. Head of Research Christopher Mangun said in a weekly market note.

On the other hand, there were no fireworks on Wall Street for the last trading day of the year, as US stocks closed out their best year since 2013 on a down note, with losses in technology and financial stocks keeping equities in negative territory for the session.

Major indexes hit a series of record highs in 2017, lifted by a combination of strong economic growth, solid corporate earnings, low interest rates and hopes for a tax cut from US President Donald J. Trump’s administration.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 118.29 points or 0.48% on Friday to close at 24,719.22; the S&P 500 lost 13.93 points or 0.52% to 2,673.61; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 46.77 points or 0.67% to 6,903.39.

The local market is closed until today, Jan. 2, as per Malacañang’s order to suspend government work and offices on the day following New Year’s Day.

When the market resumes trading on Jan. 3, all transactions will be charged a stock transaction tax of 0.60% of the gross selling price or gross value in money of the shares of stock sold, bartered, exchanged, or otherwise disposed. This increase, as stipulated under the newly implemented tax reform program, is set to yield an additional P1.7 billion in revenues annually. — Arra B. Francia with Reuters