MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Monday saw its 14th record close this year as it hit the 6,400 level for the first time.
The main index closed 6,435.98 up 117 points or 1.86% up. Value turnover was P9.96 billion. The PSEi's new intraday high was at 6,449.
Year-to-date, the PSEi has increased by 10.7% or 623.25 points.
"While developments abroad continue to be a significant factor in dictating market movements, investor confidence in our local market remains strongly supported by the Philippines’ continued growth story," PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said in a statement.
Among the day's gainers were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which rose 2.13% and Ayala Corp. which was up 4.8%.
Other gainers were Nickel Asia Corp, which surged 8.8% and Petron Corp, up 4%
Jonas Ravelas, chief market strategist of Banco de Oro, says the market is upbeat as investors want to start the Chinese New Year on a positive note.
Ravelas said he expects the PSEi to test the 6,500 level.
However, he said government should increase spending on infrastructure if the market rally is to be sustained.
"The most important thing that could sustain the Philippine story and eventually the investor sentiment in the market is that we get to see a lot more stories of continued government spending, particularly on infrastructure. The main highlights to show competitiveness, right now the government has improved its fiscal position with the increase in revenues from sin taxes. The deficit is not an issue now. Their funding costs are low, we're at historic lows for interest rates. Inflation appears to be managed. What we really need now is infrastructure," Ravelas told ANC.
Meanwhile, at the foreign exchange market, the peso ended 10 centavos stronger, closing at 40.59 against the US dollar. - With ANC