December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Stocks extend rally as investors pick up bargains

STOCKS continued to climb on Wednesday ahead of the long weekend as traders took advantage of the record performance of regional counterparts.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 0.33% or 25.99 points to close at 7,726.45 yesterday.

The broader all-shares index likewise edged higher by 0.34% or 15.92 points to close the session at 4,612.80.

“The market closed up 26 points in tandem with most of the markets in the region,” PNB Securities President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said.

“After a strong performance [on Tuesday,] Philippines continued with the bargain hunting, also after US stocks logged their best two-day performance since the presidential elections,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said.

“Nasdaq topped 6,000 for the first time ever on the back of another round of strong corporate earnings and hope for imminent corporate tax changes,” Mr. Limlingan said.

Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, tracking a relief rally in global markets after the first round of the French presidential election and optimism surrounding an expected US tax reform announcement later in the day.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4%.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 232.23 points or 1.12% to 20,996.12; the S&P 500 gained 14.46 points or 0.61% to 2,388.61 and the Nasdaq Composite added 41.67 points or 0.70% to 6,025.49.

US President Donald J. Trump is proposing to slash the corporate income tax rate and offer multinational businesses a steep tax break on overseas profits brought into the United States, officials said late on Tuesday.

Among the sectoral indices, the financials sector was the lone counter that ended in the red, slipping by 0.02% or 0.41 point to 1,896.08.

Services led the day’s rally as it added 1.43% or 23.20 points to 1,635.71, followed by mining and oil which climbed 0.36% or 43.48 points to 12,095.55. Holding firms also gained 0.29% or 22.87 points to 7,867.04; property increased by 0.14% or 4.72 points to 3,356.90; and industrials ticked higher by 0.02% or 3.04 points to 11,421.87.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 98 to 81, while 55 issues were unchanged.

Net foreign buying slowed to P616.71 million, down from Tuesday’s P1.45 billion.

Value turnover thinned to P6.46 billion from Tuesday’s P8.31 billion as 1.73 billion issues changed hands, down from the previous session’s 2.67 billion.

“The market looks like it’s taking a breather and might soften [today] as some investors may take to the sidelines over the long weekend,” PNB’s Mr. Lisbona said. He said investors will watch out for announcements from the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank at the close of their policy meetings, as well as the release of US gross domestic product data. -- A.B. Francia with Reuters