Stock Index Breaches 6,400-Mark

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines --- Investors' appetite for bluechips at the local bourse and backed by good macroeconomic numbers pushed the benchmark Philippine Stocks Exchange Index (PSEi) to breach the 6,400-mark to close at an all-time high of 6,435.98, up by 117.37 points, or 1.86 percent, from Friday's 6,318.61.

It was the 14th record close for the index in 2013. The index is now 11 percent up from left year's close. Market players and analysts expect the PSEi to move within a 6300-6500 range in the near-term.

Trading was brisk with all the sub-indices in the green with 3.13 billion shares changing hands valued at P11.18 billion.

"Good news continues to feed the market bulls," said Astro del Castillo, managing director of stock brokerage house First Grade Holdings, referring to the strong performance of the domestic economy, which grew at 6.6 percent for the whole of 2012.

"We're now praying for a healthy correction for the market," added Del Castillo, noting the market's steady rise.

Aside from the good macroeconomic fundamentals with the strong domestic economic growth, the low interest rate regime prevails following the decision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to tweak down the interest rate of the special deposit accounts (SDAs) to 3.0 percent, unleashing liquidity in the system.

Market players said the SDA effective rate of 2.4 percent opens the "liquidity flood gate," some of which showed its way to and was absorbed in the stock market.

The main index was up 2 percent to 6,447.31 during the early morning trade. Among the gainers in the morning session were property companies Ayala Land, SM Development Corp. and Robinsons Land Corp.

Analysts cited expectations of better corporate earnings and improving economic conditions as the driving force in the renewed buying interest in equities from investors. …