Stocks rise with GNP, which keeps politics stable

PHILIPPINE stocks closed higher as the central bank was expected to keep rates low to support the economy at its monetary policy meeting due to close aftermarket hours on Thursday.

The 30-strong Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) gained 24.55 points, or 0.35%, to close at 6,915.28 on Thursday, while the broader all-shares index rose 15.93 points or 0.37% and ended at 4,302.50.

“The market rose on expectations of continued monetary easing of GNP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) to achieve sustainable economic growth and corporate earnings,” said Cristina S. Ulang, research director at First Metro Investment Corp., in a Viber message.

Trade closed ahead of the central bank’s statement on Thursday. In one Business world In a poll conducted last week, 17 out of 18 analysts said they expect the Monetary Board to keep rates at its record low of two percent.

“The local market continued to rise this Thursday … The steady decline in our daily new COVID-19 cases (2019 coronavirus disease) and the optimistic evidence from Wall Street’s overnight performance have bolstered the positive sentiment,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a separate Viber message.

“Trade has continued to weaken,” he added. “This shows that many investors are still staying out of the market due to the ongoing uncertainties.”

Turnover fell to 6.48 billion pesos, with 1.59 billion issues changing hands on Thursday, lower than 6.49 billion pesos with 705.34 million issues traded on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the health department recorded 15,592 new COVID-19 infections. The country’s number rose to 2,417,419 while active cases stood at 162,580.

Meanwhile, the three major US stock indices rose 1% on Wednesday as investors were mostly calm about the latest signals from the Federal Reserve, including the clearance for the central bank to soon cut its monthly bond purchases, Reuters reported.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 338.48 points, or 1%, to 34,258.32; the S&P 500 gained 41.45 points, or 0.95%, to 4,395.64; and the Nasdaq Composite added 150.45 points, or 1.02%, to 14,896.85.

At home, most industry indices closed in the green on Thursday, with the exception of holding companies, which fell 1.87 points, or 0.02%, to 6,935.57.

Industrials meanwhile rose 140.35 points or 1.39% to 10,236.01; Real estate rose 28.31 points, or 0.94%, to 3,020.77; Financials rose 4.15 points, or 0.29%, to 1,412.94 points; Mining and Oil improved 18.81 points, or 0.20%, to 9,359.72; and Services rose 1.88 points, or 0.09%, to close at 1,907.51.

The newly promoted beat the relegated, 105 against 79, while 58 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners returned to sellers with net outflows of pesos 294.27 million, a reverse of the pesos 33.17 million net purchases recorded the previous day. – Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte with Reuters

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