MANILA, Philippines - Local stocks edged up on Wednesday, bucking the downtrend in the region as
investors focused on prospects of companies in the second half.
On Tuesday, global stocks slumped to one-month lows on dismal US housing data which revived worries
about global economic recovery.
The main index of the Philippine Stock Exchange resumed its uptrend, climbing nearly 1% in mid-trade
before profit-taking pared gains to 0.7% at 3,554.15.
The broader all-share index inched up by 0.1% to 2,246.26.
However, market breadth was negative with losers overwhelming gainers, 96 to 38, while 33 issues closed unchanged.
A total of 1.15 billion shares worth P4.4 billion changed hands.
Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Holdings said the local equities market has managed
to decouple from Wall Street in recent weeks because of solid fundamentals.
"Investors are still very optimistic about the prospects of corporates in the second half after strong first half numbers."
Analysts have projected the main index to hit an all-time high of between 3,800 and 3,900 before the end of the year on hopes the strong economic growth of 7.3% in the first quarter will be sustained in subsequent quarters, albeit at a slower pace but still good enough to beat estimates.
"The first half results affirmed a better market for the year. The fundamentals are there - the engines of growth, like high consumption, healthy remittances from overseas Filipino workers are helping to move the market upward," said del Castillo.
Del Castillo said blue chips which missed the recent uptrend were playing catch up.
Property developer Ayala Land Inc. bounced back from the previous day's 15.6% slump to end at P16.18.
Index heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. inched up 0.2% to P2,450.
Conglomerate SM Investments, the most actively traded stock by value, ended lower for a second session in a row on profit-taking,losing 1.2% to P484.
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., gave up 1.7% to P64.20. with additional reports from Rocel Felix,