Philippine stocks climb on upbeat economic view

REUTERS/ELOISA LOPEZ

PHILIPPINE STOCKS posted gains on Wednesday on positive market sentiment after the Finance chief said economic growth is expected to remain robust this year.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 80.82 points or 1.15% to close at 7,094.86 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index added 34.59 points or 0.94% to end at 3,692.51.

“This Wednesday, the bullish sentiment in the market returned as the PSEi rose to 7,094.86, up by 80.82 points. This was brought by optimism towards the prospects of our economy this year,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement that quoted his speech at an event in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday that the Philippines will likely grow by around 6.5% this year, even with a potential global economic slowdown.

Economic managers are targeting 6-7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year.

The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office sees Philippine GDP growing by 6.2%, while the World Bank expects a 5.4% expansion.

Mr. Diokno also said the economy in 2022 likely expanded “much faster” than the government’s 6.5-7.5% goal. Philippine GDP expanded by 7.6% in the third quarter of 2022, bringing the nine-month average to 7.7%.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is set to release fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 GDP data on Jan. 26.

“The market continued to stay strong despite the performance of the Dow Jones last night. A strong break of 7,150 can bring the index to 7,500,” Mercantile Securities Corp. Head Trader Jeff Radley C. See said in a Viber message on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 391.76 points or 1.14% to 33,910.85; the S&P 500 lost 8.12 points or 0.2% to 3,990.97; and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.96 points or 0.14% to 11,095.11.

Back home, all of the sectoral indices closed higher on Wednesday. Services went up by 58.16 points or 3.36% to close at 1,787.23; industrials climbed by 146.76 points or 1.48% to 10,019.33; mining and oil added 88.99 points or 0.78% to end at 11,482.89; financials increased by 10.95 points or 0.59% to 1,839.02; property gained 16.58 points or 0.53% to close at 3,114.83; and holdings firms rose by 22.24 points or 0.32% to 6,821.67.

Value turnover declined to P7.99 billion on Wednesday with 991.91 million shares changing hands from the P10.14 billion with 1.25 billion issues traded on Tuesday.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 124 versus 82, while 47 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying declined to P532.16 million on Wednesday from P1.75 billion the previous trading day.

Philstocks Financial’s Ms. Alviar placed the PSEi’s support at 6,800 and resistance at the 7,000-7,100 range. — J.I.D. Tabile