PSEi tops 8,000 level; AGI rises

Stocks rose for a third day, sending the benchmark index above the 8,000-point level following overnight gains on Wall Street that helped improve investor sentiment in Asian markets.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, gained 58 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 8,013.42 Friday, the first time it reached the level in six weeks.  The bellwether was also up 7.3 percent since the start of the year.

The broader all-share index rose 24 points, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 4,913.31 on a value turnover of P7.6 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers, 116 to 77, while 50 issues were unchanged.

Fifteen of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by Alliance Global Group Inc. of billionaire Andrew Tan which climbed 3.3 percent to P16.30 and Phinma Energy Corp. which advanced 3 percent to P1.38.  

Food manufacturer Universal Robina Corp. gained 2.9 percent to P149.20, while port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. rose 2.3 percent to P124.20.  Power retailer Manila Electric Co. gained 2 percent to P387.

Meanwhile, Tokyo stocks closed slightly higher on Friday.  The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.09 percent, or 18.42 points, to end at 21,627.34 while the broader Topix index was up 0.17 percent, or 2.72 points, at 1,617.11.

“Trade lacked a sense of direction with positive factor from rallies in US shares offset by negative impact from a higher yen against the dollar,” said Mutsumi Kanamori, a strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The dollar fetched 110.80 yen in Asian trade, little changed from 110.82 yen in New York on Thursday but lower than 111.55 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The Tokyo market was closed on Thursday for a national holiday.

Japanese consumer prices for February rose a sluggish 0.7 percent in February from a year earlier, according to government data released 30 minutes before the opening bell, as the world’s third-largest economy continues its years-long battle to stoke inflation.

The market shrugged off the latest reading, which was slightly higher than expectations of 0.4 percent inflation.

Hong Kong stocks also finished the week on a positive note Friday, taking their cue from a Wall Street rally, with investors now looking ahead to fresh high-level China-US trade talks next week.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.14 percent, or 41.80 points, to close at 29,113.36.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.09 percent, or 2.69 points, to 3,104.15, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, added 0.20 percent, or 3.45 points, to 1,700.94. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , AGI
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