RP shares close 1.5 pct higher on bargain-hunting


Posted at Jun 25 2008 02:45 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2008 10:45 PM

Agence France Presse

MANILA - Philippine share prices closed 1.5 percent higher on Wednesday as bargain-hunters swooped in after a five-day losing streak, a dealer said.

But volumes remained thin, indicating investors were still wary over high oil prices and other external factors.

The composite index rose 35.93 points to 2,510.80 points, while the all-shares index rose 1.06 percent to 1,597.62 points.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 63 to 25 with 51 unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 2.225 billion pesos (49.95 million dollars) compared with 1.735 billion pesos on Tuesday.

The local currency traded at 44.536 pesos to the dollar.

"The current valuation of the index is now at a discount and remains attractive and it is an opportunity for investors to accumulate," said Ron Rodrigo of DBP Daiwa Securities.

The government's announcement that imports rose by about 11.8 percent in April "is also one of the reasons that contributed to the market's upside."

But he warned that "it's hard to say if the upturn can be sustained considering we still have the same problems," such as the high price of oil and a possible recession in the United States, the Philippines' main trading partner.

"Fundamentally, on the fiscal side, the Philippines remains to be strong but it is the external factors that are really causing these concerns," he added.

Index leader Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. gained 1.7 percent to 2,415 pesos.

Philippine National Bank also rose 1.7 percent to 30 pesos.

Bank of the Philippine Islands rose 3.44 percent to 45 pesos.

San Miguel Corp. saw its A and B shares both stay unchanged at 40.50 pesos.