Stocks rose Friday, as optimism the Federal Reserve will take a gradual approach to raising interest rates sent Asian markets toward their biggest weekly gain in more than a month and buoyed the region’s currencies.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, jumped 107 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 6,932.81. The gauge, however, was still down 4.1 percent since the start of the year.
The heavier index, representing all shares, also advanced 53 points, or 1.4 percent, to settle at 4,001.22, on value turnover of P6 billion.
Gainers outnumbered losers, 108 to 60, while 47 issues were unchanged.
Seventeen of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., which climbed 3.9 percent to P57.85. Property developer Ayala Land Inc. rose 3.7 percent to P35.20, while JG Summit Holdings Inc. of tycoon John Gokongwei added 3.1 percent to close at P69.90.
Property developer Megaworld Corp. gained 3 percent to P4.49, while SM Investments Corp. of tycoon Henry Sy rose 2.6 percent to P862. Restaurant operator Jollibee Foods Corp. picked up 2.3 percent to settle at P200.
Meanwhile, the MSCI Asia Pacific index rose 0.2 percent, extending Thursday’s 1.9-percent advance, as shares in New Zealand and Australia climbed with those in emerging markets.
Gold added 0.1 percent and zinc jumped 2.1 percent. Crude in New York traded at $40.43 a barrel. Malaysia’s ringgit strengthened 1.5 percent, leading Asian currencies higher. Investors showed few signs of unease after the US central bank signaled this week it’s likely to raise interest rates next month.
“The Fed has made it clear that its base case is for a lift-off in December and if they were to break that, it would be a huge, market-moving event,” said Evan Lucas, Melbourne-based strategist at IG Ltd. “It’s been very positive for markets this week, with equities responding favorably to this macro picture.”
The dollar sank against emerging market currencies and the yen in Asia after seeing sharp losses on Wall Street while stocks picked up in later trade to extend the previous day’s rally.
The upbeat performance was a far cry from the start of the week, which was overshadowed by the deadly Paris attacks last Friday, which raised fears about security in Europe and its effect on the economy.
Minutes Wednesday showing Federal Reserve policymakers are confident the US economy is strong enough to withstand a December interest rate hike fuelled buying across global markets and sent the dollar up against its major rivals. With Bloomberg, AFP