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Friday, April 11, 2014

Fed minutes calm investor nerves, fuel PH stock market's ascent to 8-month high

MANILA – The Philippine composite index returned above the 6,600-line on Thursday to hit an eight-month high after minutes of the latest US Federal Reserve meeting eased concerns it would raise interest rates sooner than expected.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange, the benchmark index advanced 51.40 points, or 0.78 percent, to 6,638.89, its highest finish since closing at 6,656.61 on August 14, 2013.

The mining and oil sector jumped 1.76 percent, the financials sub-index added 1.36 percent and the holding firm sector rose 1.36 percent to drive the stock market higher.

Advancers dominated decliners, 126 to 57, while 34 issues were unchanged. Value turnover picked up to P10.52 billion from P7.57 billion last Tuesday, as 1.34 billion stocks changed hands. The market was closed yesterday for a public holiday.

Most actively traded stocks were SM Prime, Megaworld, SM Investments, PLDT and Ayala Land. Top gainers were Manila Bulletin, Roxas & Company, and Megaworld warrants, while the biggest losers were PBCom, Manila Jockey and Asia Amalgamated.

"We managed to stay above 6,600 level because of positive local and overseas news," said Freya Natividad, investment analyst at Papa Securities.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 181.04 points, or 1.1 percent, to 16,437.18, while the S&P 500 gained 1.1 percent to 1,872.18.

Minutes of the US central bank's March 18-19 meeting released Wednesday showed Fed policymakers wanted to be certain the world's largest economy has recovered before raising interest rates.

An account of the US Fed's meeting calmed markets, correcting an impression created earlier by its chairperson Janet Yellen, who signaled that interest rates could likely increase six months after the end of its stimulus program by fall, sooner than what investors had anticipated.

Source: Interaksyon

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