PSEi sets new high for 2014

by Warren de Guzman, ANC

Posted at Mar 05 2014 07:49 PM | Updated as of Mar 06 2014 03:49 AM

Stock brokers monitor trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Makati. Photo by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine shares traded at their highest level in 4 months, boosted by lower than expected inflation, and gains in PLDT and SM Prime Holdings.

The PSE index closed at 6,456 setting a new high for 2014.

Index heavyweight PLDT gained one and a half percent, boosted by recommendations from Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas.

SM Prime Holdings led the property sector higher thanks to a buy recommendation from Deutsche Bank.

The property sector outperformed the market, also getting a boost from February inflation, which unexpectedly slowed. The slower inflation raised bets the BSP could keep interest rates at record lows for longer. That means more time for prospective property buyers to avail of cheaper loans.

Ayala Land, Filinvest and Megaworld all ended higher.

The biggest loser for the day was Pancake House, after its new owner Max's restaurant said does not have plans to inject its restaurants into the listed company just yet. Max's says for now it is going to keep the Pancake House and the Max's restaurant groups separate.

Wednesday's gains snap a 2-day slump at the PSE caused by worries the Ukraine crisis might escalate into a wide conflict and impact global growth and supply of commodities like oil and gas.

Russian President Vladimir Putin helped ease those concerns, after he said there was no immediate need for the use of force in the Crimean region. His comments sparked a global stock market rally.

Global analysts though warn the situation at this point is still very fluid, and things could get better, or worse for financial markets very quickly.