LOCAL SHARES rallied on Thursday following strong first-quarter earnings reported by banks and as the country recorded a wider balance of payments (BoP) surplus from January to March.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 74.09 points or 1.14% to close at 6,520.44 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index went up by 24.14 points or 0.69% to end at 3,488.26.
“The local market gained this Thursday as investors cheered the widened balance of payments surplus in the first quarter of this year,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research and Engagement Officer Mikhail Philippe Q. Plopenio said in a Viber message.
The country’s BoP position stood at a USD 3.45-billion surplus in the first quarter, ballooning from the USD 495-million surfeit in the same period last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported on Wednesday.
“Also, optimism towards first-quarter corporate earnings rose following the strong results from BDO [Unibank, Inc.] and BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands). The bourse traded in the green territory for the whole day with heavy buying before the closing bell as many positioned ahead of the long weekend. This in turn lifted the bourse above the 6,500 level,” Mr. Plopenio added.
Value turnover went up to USD 3.82 billion on Thursday with 583.91-million shares changing hands from the USD 3.40 billion with 441.33-million issues traded on Wednesday.
Philippine financial markets are closed on April 21 due to a regular holiday for Eid al-Fitr.
“Almost half of the main index’s gain came from BDO and BPI, both of which reported strong first-quarter results,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said in a Viber message.
BDO saw its attributable net income grow by 40.44% year on year to PHP 16.528 billion in the first quarter amid “broad-based growth” across all its businesses, it said on Tuesday.
For its part, BPI’s net profit rose by 52% to PHP 12.1 billion in the January-March period, it said on Thursday.
On Thursday, BDO’s shares rose by PHP 5.50 or 4.25% to close at PHP 135 each, while BPI’s shares climbed by PHP 2.60 or 2.59% to end at PHP 102.80 apiece.
The majority of sectoral indices climbed on Thursday. Financials increased by 45.27 points or 2.51% to 1,845.26; property jumped by 23.97 points or 0.89% to 2,695.38; services climbed by 11.30 points or 0.7% to 1,611.48; holding firms went up by 43.37 points or 0.69% to 6,318.53; and industrials rose by 56.48 points or 0.6% to 9,337.84.
Meanwhile, mining and oil fell by 141.68 points or 1.31% to end at 10,641.30.
Advancers outnumbered decliners, 94 versus 88, while 41 names closed unchanged.
Net foreign buying stood at PHP 508.16 million on Thursday, a reversal of the the PHP 30.41 million in net selling recorded on Wednesday. — By A.H. Halili