Shares rise on tepid trade

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    Share prices ended higher Wednesday as investors bet on further government fiscal support in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) .

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was up 61.60 points to 6,651.71, a 0.94 percent hike.

    The broader all shares index was up 41.94 points to 4,044.94, a 1.05 percent hike.

    Gainers edged losers, 147 to 57 with 46 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P6.05 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.585 to the dollar, down from 48.57 on Tuesday.

    The currency opened at 48.53 and hit a high of 48.52 and a low of 48.625. Trading turnover reached $581.8 million.

    Stockbroker Philstocks Financial Corp. said investors were encouraged to buy stocks “on the back of growing optimism toward fiscal stimulus measures to support the Philippine economy amid the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent restriction measures.”

    “Sen. Franklin Drilon urged Malacanang to call for a special session of Congress for the Bayanihan to Arise As One Act. Meanwhile, House Representative Speaker Lord Allan Velasco expressed willingness to hold the special session for the Bayanihan 3 bill if certified as urgent,” Philstocks Financial said.

    It, however, noted trading remains “tepid” with market turnover still below the year-to-date average of 9.43 billion.

    Foreign funds were net sellers worth P667.2 million

    SB Equities Inc. said investors also looked “ahead to the easing of quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region and surrounding provinces, amid continued positivity over March inflation slowing down following five straight months of acceleration.”

    Most actively traded Ayala Land Inc. was down P0.10 to P34.50. BDO Unibank Inc. was steady at P101.80. Basic Energy Corp. was up P0.07 to P1.07. Metro Pacific Investments Corp. was up P0.23 to P4.15. Dito CME Holdings Corp. was down P0.04 to P11.04. SM Investments Corp. was up P6 to P998. AC Energy Corp. was up P0.16 to P7.64. Puregold Price Club Inc. was up P0.10 to P37.75. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was up P1.85 to P36.85. PLDT Inc. was up P10 to P1,255.