Softer US inflation continues to buttress PH shares

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Philippine stocks extended gains on Friday after the July inflation print in the United States came in lower than expected, raising hopes that consumer price increases that prevailed for most of the year would finally start easing.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Index rose 0.28 percent, or 18.98 points, to 6,699.66 while the broader All Shares index added 0.38 percent, or 13.59 points, to 3,564.16.

“Philippine shares continued the rally to close the weekend on the back of a positive US inflation report,” Luis Gerardo Limlingan, head of sales at stock brokerage house Regina Capital Development, said in a note to investors on Friday.

US inflation for July cooled to 8.5 percent, which was below analysts’ expectations of 8.7 percent.
A total of 1.67 billion shares valued at P13.76 billion changed hands. A P6.51-billion block sale of Ayala Land Inc. shares consisted the bulk of orders.

Parent firm Ayala Corp. said on Friday it spent P11.82 billion to buy over 468 million Ayala Land shares on Aug. 9 and Aug. 12. No sellers were identified.

At the same time, net foreign selling accelerated to P5.86 billion, stock exchange data showed.
All PSE subsectors closed positive, save for property’s 0.23-percent drop. Gainers were led by financials and mining and oil, up 1.43 percent and 0.82 percent, respectively.

Converge ICT Solutions Inc. was the most actively traded on Friday as it plunged 8.45 percent to P19.18 per share.

It was followed by Ayala Land Inc., up 1.6 percent to P28.50; San Miguel Corp., down 1.15 percent to P103; Ayala Corp., up 1.81 percent to P733; and BDO Unibank Inc., up 2.07 percent to P118.30 per share.

Miguel R. Camus 

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