Stocks rose for the second day, as increasing expectation the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates at record lows fed further gains in Asia’s stock markets Friday.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, picked up 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 7,055.74 Friday. The gauge was still down 2.4 percent since the start of the year.
The heavier index, representing all shares, also advanced 9 points, or 0.2 percent, to settle at 4,055.42, on a value turnover of P8.3 billion.
Losers outnumbered gainers, 88 to 84, while 50 issues were unchanged.
Cyber Bay Corp., a property developer, emerged as the biggest gainer among the 20 most active stocks, as it surged 34.8 percent to P0.60. Renewable power producer Energy Development Corp. jumped 5.6 percent to P6.65, while First Gen Corp. advanced 5.4 percent to P24.55.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. added 2.2 percent to close at P2,260. Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc. rose 1.4 percent to P71.80.
Meanwhile, Asian stocks rose as speculation that Beijing will soon introduce more measures to stimulate the world’s number two economy.
Global markets have enjoyed a broadly strong month so far after suffering their worst quarter in four years during July-September, when trillions of dollars were wiped of valuations.
The main story behind the latest rally has been the likelihood the Fed will have to put off a rate hike until the new year owing to a slowdown in world economic growth.
After saying in early 2015 that a rise was expected as the US economy picked up pace, bank policymakers have gradually lowered their expectations, with turmoil unleashed by China’s yuan depreciation in August playing a major role.
A recent run of weak data out of Washington — including below par jobs growth and retail sales — have also muddied the Fed’s waters.
“Investors are reacting to the increasing likelihood that the Fed rate hike, which had been expected just a month ago in September, now likely won’t happen during the course of this year,” said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management. With AFP