Stocks rebound as Senate approves tax package

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) recovered after two days of downward movement, taking cues from Wall Street and with the approval of the Senate of a higher personal income tax exemption for Filipinos of P250,000 annually.

Stocks rebound as Senate approves tax packageThe benchmark index closed at 8,343.23, up 77.55 points or 0.93%, while the all-shares index closed at 4,883.37, up by 36.99 points or 0.76%.

“[Investors] were elated with the higher personal income tax exemption for Filipinos of P250,000 annually, effectively increasing the take-home pay of taxpayers,” Jervin S. de Celis, equities trader at Timson Securities, Inc., said in a text message.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a higher personal income tax exemption of P250,000 annually, as it discussed amendments for its version of the tax reform bill, or the Senate Bill 1592 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act. The Senate and the House of Representatives will then meet in a bicameral conference, even as early as December in order for President Rodrigo R. Duterte to approve the package by yearend.

Luis A. Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., said momentum in the local market remained positive despite the performance of Wall Street.

“US stocks took a breather, the Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.3% as investors took some profit ahead of Thanksgiving holiday. Despite a flat start on Wall St’s leads, however, momentum remained positive, hence local investors saw the dips as quick and shallow, and bought with the low trading volumes,” Mr. Limlingan said in a text message.

US stocks were little changed on Wednesday, with telecom services shares among the biggest movers while the energy sector rose in line with gains in crude oil.

Trading volumes were thin ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and an early close on Friday. About 5.18 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, compared with the 6.66 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. Last year, volume during the session before Thanksgiving was 6.51 billion.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64.65 points or 0.27% to 23,526.18, the S&P 500 lost 1.95 points or 0.08% to 2,597.08 and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.88 points, or 0.07% to 6,867.36.

Meanwhile, back home, all sectoral indices gained. Holding firms led the counters as it ended at 8,475.13, up 106.12 points or 1.26%. Services went up 15.77 points or 0.96% to 1,645.73; property rose 30.86 points or 0.8% to 3,886.29; mining and oil climbed 67.05 points or 0.55% to 12,114.32; financials inched up 9.26 points or 0.44% to 2,091.90; and industrials gained 33.14 points or 0.30% to close at 10,959.46.

Value turnover came in at P4.41 billion, dropping from the previous day’s P6.93 billion, with 2.48 billion shares changing hands.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 105 to 92, while 43 names remained unchanged.

Net foreign selling thinned to P202.98 million yesterday from Wednesday’s P269.15 million. — PPCM with Reuters