Local stocks track gains in regional markets

By Maiki Oreta, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2010 12:17 PM | Updated as of Aug 18 2010 09:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Local stocks edged up for a third straight session on Wednesday, tracking gains in the regional markets as investors took heart on better-than-expected earnings of 2 major American retailers.

On Tuesday, Wall Street rose as Wal-Mart and Home Depot beat earnings estimates, reviving hopes that recovery in the world's biggest economy will be sustained.

The main index of the Philippine Stock Exchange rose  0.9% to 3,534.80.

The broader all-share index added 0.8% at 2,230.26.

Gainers paced losers 85 to 46, 37 while stocks ended unchanged.

A total of 1.3 billion shares valued at P4.6 billion changed hands.

Metrobank was the most actively traded stock by value, rising by 1.6% to P62.90.

Another financial firm that enjoyed brisk trading was Philippine National Bank which surged to a 31-month high of P45.15, before settling 2.6% higher at  P45 a piece. Traders said buying in PNB was spurred by a confirmation that its merger with Allied Bank will be finalized this year.

Conglomerate Alliance Global traded at a 39-month high of P6.94, while its property arm Megaworld Corp., ended at a 26-month high of P1.86.

Another conglomerate, SM Investments, surged to an all-time high of P472 a piece on optimism over its earnings prospects for the year.