PSEi jumps 3.6 pct as investors cheer Q2 GDP data
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine stocks surged on Thursday, as investors cheered the better-than-expected second quarter GDP growth figures.
The main index was up 206 points or 3.59% to close at 5,944.21. News that the Philippine economy grew 7.5% in the second quarter boosted investor sentiment and helped the PSEi post its biggest one-day gain since June.
The PSEi had been the worst performer in Asia in recent days, even falling to a nine-month low.
On Thursday, the biggest gainers included SM Investments, which rose 4.26% to P661.
BDO and Metrobank jumped on an "outperform" recommendation from Macquarie. BDO rose 7.48% to P73.30, while Metrobank was up 4.84% to P80.20.
GT Capital Holdings surged 13% to P780, while LT Group jumped 12.5% to P18. The two conglomerates will be included in the PSEi starting September 16.
Alliance Global also went up 6% on news of the backdoor listing of its liquor subsidiary Emperador.
On the other hand, shares of Meralco and Belle Corp. fell after it was announced the two companies will dropped from the PSEi.
At the foreign exchange market, the peso ended unchanged from Wednesday's close at P44.75 against the US dollar.
Asian stocks rebound from heavy losses
Asian markets saw a mild bounce on Thursday after suffering heavy selling pressure this week, but traders remained on edge ahead of a possible military strike on Syria.
The dollar also benefited as fears eased over the impact of an attack on the Middle Eastern country, which is accused of using chemical weapons on its own people.
India's rupee was slightly off record lows touched Wednesday as investors fretted over the country's stuttering economy as well as the future of the US Federal Reserve's stimulus programme.
Tokyo rose 0.91 percent, or 121.25 points, to 13,459.71, while Sydney added 0.10 percent, or 5.2 points, to close at 5,092.4 and Seoul advanced 1.22 percent, or 23.02 points, to 1,907.54.
Hong Kong climbed 0.84 percent, or 180.13 points to 21,704.78, but Shanghai fell 0.19 percent, or 4.07 points, to 2,097.23.
Buying sentiment was given a boost by a rally on Wall Street, which ended three days of losses, as energy companies benefited from a surge in oil prices.
The Dow rose 0.34 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 0.29 percent and the Nasdaq added 0.41 percent.
US President Barack Obama, who had warned the use of chemical weapons by Syria would cross a "red line", said Washington had definitively concluded that the Assad regime was to blame for last week's attack that killed hundreds of people.
However, he said Wednesday he had not yet decided whether to strike.
His comments, which were more cautious than recent statements, come as political uproar in London cast doubt on whether Britain would join any such action.
Kengo Suzuki, forex strategist at Mizuho Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires: "Excessive risk aversion is unwinding."
Anxiety about Syria initially caused the dollar to weaken earlier this week as investors bought alternative safe-haven currencies including the Swiss franc and yen.
"I think the general feeling is that the United States won't be as heavily involved in Syria as it was when it invaded Iraq back in 2003," he said. - With reports from ANC and Agence France-Presse