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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Market advances; Ayala, SM issues up

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Stocks rose for a second day, sending the benchmark index to a five-month high, as Asian markets climbed on the lingering effects of the US Federal Reserve’s lower interest rate outlook.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, climbed 95 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 7,306.74 on Friday, the highest close since Oct. 27, as SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Land Inc. paced gainers. The bellwether was also up 5.1 percent since the start of the year.

The heavier index, representing all shares, rose 32 points, or 0.8 percent, to settle at 4,191.07, on a value turnover of P11.2 billion. Advancers led losers, 100 to 80, while 40 issues were unchanged Friday.

Twelve of the 20 most actives stocks ended in the green, led by property developer Ayala Land Inc., which climbed 5 percent to P36.60.  JG Summit Holdings Inc., the investment company of tycoon John Gokongwei, gained 4 percent to P79, while SM Investments Corp. of tycoon Henry Sy added 3.3 percent to close at P990.

Meanwhile, Asian markets extended their gains Friday. The Fed’s decision Wednesday to scale back its forecasts on hiking borrowing costs—citing global turmoil and weak growth—was greeted with relief across most trading floors on Thursday, with shares rallying from Asia to the Americas.

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It also provided a boost for emerging market currencies and sent the dollar tumbling, which in turn provided a boost to dollar-priced crude oil, with both main contracts surging above $40.

And the positive trend continued Friday, with most equities markets and emerging currencies pushing on with more gains.

“Markets are still settling down after the more-dovish-than-expected Fed,” Philip Borkin, a senior economist in Auckland at ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd., said in a note to clients.

“It appears [Fed policymakers]have become more concerned with the outlook for the global economy,” he said, according to Bloomberg News. With AFP, Bloomberg

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