PH stocks surge to new high, nears 5,800
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed at another record level on Friday, its ninth rally in 10 days.
The PSEi settled at 5,794.20, up 0.53%, surpassing the December 6 record close at 5,763.64. This brought the number of PSEi record highs this year to 36.
"Inflation in November which has reached an eight-month low reaffirms the positive outlook on interest rates which also augurs well for the stock market. The rise in Asian markets on news of positive US economic data has also contributed to the gains," PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said in a statement.
Leading Friday's gainers are Ayala Corp., which climbed nearly 2% and Ayala Land which is also up 1.03%. Globe Telecom, on the other hand, fell 1%.
At the foreign exchange market, the peso ended little changed, closing at P40.95 against the US dollar.
Asian markets mostly up
Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed on Friday, with profit-taking reversing some earlier gains, while the euro extended losses made in New York after the ECB cut its growth forecast for the eurozone.
Seoul climbed 0.4 percent, or 7.83 points, to 1,957.45 and Sydney added 0.94 percent, or 42.5 points, to close at 4,551.8 but Tokyo ended 0.19 percent, or 17.77 points, down at 9,527.39.
And Shanghai closed up 1.60 percent, or 32.55 points, at 2,061.79, topping off a positive week, while Hong Kong succumbed in late trade, slipping 0.26 percent, or 58.64 points, to 22,191.17.
Shares in New York provided a bright start to the day as data showed that jobless claims in the United States fell last week after three weeks of higher figures caused by superstorm Sandy.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week to December 1 dropped from 395,000 the previous week and well over 400,000 in the two weeks before.
The news bodes well ahead of the release later Friday of key non-farm payrolls data.
On Wall Street the Dow closed 0.30 percent higher, the S&P 500 added 0.33 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.52 percent.
In Tokyo, the euro rose as dealers moved back into buying mode after it suffered a big fall in New York late Thursday on news the European Central Bank had tipped the eurozone economy shrink 0.3 percent in 2013. It had previously forecast 0.5 percent growth.
The bank also hinted that it might be moving toward cutting its benchmark rate, despite holding firm on Thursday.
The single currency was quoted at $1.2940 in afternoon Asian trade, from $1.2969 in New York late Thursday, and 106.61 yen from 106.86 yen.
The unit was also well down from the $1.3055 and 107.69 yen in Asia earlier on Thursday.
The dollar was at 82.39 yen in Asia, from 82.37 yen in New York. - With Agence France-Presse and ANC