April 23, 2018, 12:20 am
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PSEi rises over 2%

Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday, tracking broader Asian peers, with the Philippine index climbing more than 1 percent on foreign investor purchases and Singapore extending gains to touch a 32-month high.

Asia shares ex-Japan approached record highs again, while overnight the S&P 500 extended its winning streak for 2018. 

“Asian markets are driven by the return of the Japanese investors from their holiday break. So, we can see buying from those sources,” said Manny Cruz, an analyst at Asiasec Equities Inc in Manila.

Japanese markets, which were closed on Monday for a national holiday, were up, with the Nikkei share average hitting a 26-year high.

Philippine shares rose as much as 2 percent, backed by gains in consumer cyclicals and industrials.  It closed at 8923.72, higher by 178.60 points.

Gainers edged losers 118 to 93 with 47 stocks unchanged.  Trading turnover reached P8.36 billion.

Jose Raymundo Ayad, Philstocks Financial Inc., research associate, said the market tracked overseas leads as regional markets went up. 

“We basically tracked our neighbors across the Asia-Pacific region which also posted gains. Nikkei marked 26-year high at 23,849.99. This optimism was pushed by the start of inter-Korea peace talks and weakening of USD,” said Ayad.

“The market is now sits on a +5.34 percent year-to-date return which it put up in just 5 trading sessions. It has posted gains in four of these five sessions for the current year. For the moment, it appears investors have set aside forecasts that inflation may peak at 4.0 percent this year, particularly in the first semester,” Ayad also said.

Index heavyweight SM Investments Corp climbed 3.7 percent, while International Container Terminal Services Inc rose 2.5 percent.

“Buying from foreign funds is heightened by the fact that recently President Rodrigo Duterte signed a tax reform program that would spur infrastructure developments in the country,” Cruz said.

Last month, the Philippine Congress approved a tax reform bill, which is one of the five tax packages that Duterte is pushing to increase state revenues and make the tax system fair and simple.

Singapore added 0.5 percent, its highest since April 2015, on broad-based gains.

Thai Beverage PCL gained 1.1 percent, while Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd was up 2.2 percent.

Thai shares rose as much as 0.3 percent, with materials and financials pushing the index higher, before paring gains. PTT Global Chemical PCL rose 2.2 percent, while Krung Thai Bank PCL gained 0.5 percent.

Indonesia fell marginally, snapping three straight sessions of gains. An index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks fell 0.3 percent.

Telecom stocks dragged the main index down, with Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk down 1.2 percent.

Vietnam climbed as much as 1 percent, its highest since November 2007, while Malaysia fell 0.1 percent. – Reuters, Ruelle Albert Castro
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