Stocks rose for a second day, as oil prices climbed and investors returned to riskier assets, after minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s March meeting affirmed its gradual approach to raising interest rates.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, gained 14 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 7,247.20 Friday. The bellwether was up 4.2 percent since the start of the year.
The heavier index, representing all shares, also advanced 41 points, or 1 percent, to settle at 4,260.84, on a value turnover of P6.5 billion.
Advancers outnumbered losers, 102 to 75, while 57 issues were unchanged.
Ten of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by retailer Puregold Price Club Inc., which climbed 5.1 percent to P1.90. Security Bank Corp. rose 2 percent to P3.50, while Universal Robina Corp. went up 1.8 percent to P219. Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. added 1.7 percent to close at P1,828.
“Investors are reacting positively to signs that the Fed is dovish and to the rebound in oil prices,” said Rafael Palma Gil, a Manila-based trader at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp, which manages $1.7 billion of assets.
“As long as interest rates stay low, or near zero, funds will flow back into emerging markets for higher yields,” Gil said.
Developing-nation assets have retreated in April, after surging in March, amid concerns that risks to a global economic recovery are increasing. While the Fed’s minutes showed broad agreement on a go-slow strategy, opinion was divided with some saying it might send the wrong signal. The dollar slipped for a second day, reaching a 17-month low against the yen, as traders assign zero chance of a Fed rate increase in April. With Bloomberg