Stocks rose Monday ahead of the release of gross domestic product data later this week and as investors lowered their expectations for US interest rate hikes.
The PSE index, the 30-company benchmark of the Philippine Stock Exchange, rose 13 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 7,069.68, as three of the six subsectors advanced, led by holding firms. It was also up 7.7 percent since the start of the year.
The broader all-share index also went up by 8 points, or 0.23 percent, to settle at 3,691.25, on a value turnover of P8.35 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers, 99 to 92, while 55 issues were unchanged.
Five of the 10 most active stocks ended in the green, led by Converge ICT Inc. which climbed 2.87 percent to P19.38 and GT Capital Holdings Inc. which went up 2.06 percent to P506.00.
Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed in holiday-thinned trade Monday. Tokyo was the standout performer, rallying more than one percent following a blockbuster performance on Wall Street, where all three main indexes enjoyed a strong end to last week thanks to a tech rally.
Comments from top Federal Reserve officials provided support to equities after they indicated the bank could lift rates at a much slower pace as inflation gradually comes down.
Governor Christopher Waller said he was open to a 25-basis-point lift at the next policy meeting, though he did point out that the market’s view on inflation was “very optimistic”.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Fed boss Patrick Harker again called for slower increases.
And Kansas City boss Esther George said she was optimistic the world’s top economy could still achieve a soft landing, despite worries that a series of big rate hikes last year would tip it into recession.
Adding to the positive mood is China’s re-emergence from years of zero-Covid measures that essentially cut the country off from the rest of the world, hammering growth.
With most of the region closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, trading was thin.
Still, Tokyo led gains, while Sydney and Mumbai were also in positive territory.
However, there were small losses in Bangkok and Wellington.
“Although most Asian markets are closed for Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, Japanese and Australian stocks are picking up on the better mood from US investors and on expectations of China’s economy returning to some semblance of a pre-pandemic trend,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.
Lower expectations for US interest rates weighed on the dollar against its major peers, while oil prices were flat after last week hitting their highest levels since November. With AFP