PH shares end with best weekly gain since June

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    Philippine stocks added 2 percent on Friday to end the week with their biggest gain since June, as the easing of restrictions in capital Manila and slowing coronavirus cases rekindled optimism and brought back foreign investors.

    Broader Asian stocks recorded slim gains, after better-than-expected US jobs data and signs of progress in talks for a $2 trillion stimulus deal in Washington supported US equities overnight.

    The benchmark Philippine stock index notched a near 10 percent gain for the week, as shares of food and real-estate companies rallied on hopes for increased footfall in malls and hotels after curfew hours were trimmed earlier this week.

    “The economy continues to gear up for recovery as public transportation come back to 50 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. If developments are sustained, PSEi is poised to match its pattern of seasonal strength in the last quarter,” said Jennifer Lomboy, fund manager at First Metro Asset Management.

    Lomboy also said foreign inflows were finally back, with the timely passage of the 2021 budget and early encouraging third-quarter results from some blue-chips also helping.

    Data from Refinitiv showed foreigners pumped in about 557.44 million pesos ($11.5 million) into Philippine equities across the last two sessions, but remain net sellers of local equities so far in October.

    Yields on the Philippine ten-year benchmark bond usually seen as a safer investment than stocks, have also climbed recently, signalling the return of optimism. The peso was also trading higher.

    Taiwan’s dollar saw most of the action for the day, adding nearly 1 percent to continue its bullish run, after data on Tuesday showed export orders rose for the seventh consecutive month in September. – Reuters