RP shares close up 2.4%

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 05 2009 12:36 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2009 10:04 PM

Philippine share prices closed 2.4 percent higher on Thursday due to favourable news on inflation and positive sentiment on key stocks, dealers said.

The composite index gained 44.52 points to 1,892.07 points, while the all-shares index gained 1.6 percent to 1,220.67 points.

There were 56 gainers, 22 losers and 43 unchanged.

Volume totalled 777.8 million shares worth P1.712 billion ($36.02 million).

The local currency traded at 47.519 to the dollar.

The announcement earlier that the inflation rate hit a 10-month low of 7.1 percent in January helped lift the index, said Ron Rodrigo of Daiwa Securities.

"This was at the lower end of the government projection," he said.

There was also interest in key blue-chips, he said, adding "investors realised that given the strong fundamentals of these companies, they should have a second look at Philippine stocks."

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. gained 3.5 percent to P2,220 while the Manila Water Co. rose 7.14 percent to P11.25.

The Manila Electric Co. rose 3.97 percent to P65.50.

San Miguel Corp. saw its A shares remain unchanged at P40 while its B shares fell 1.2 percent to P40.50.