PSEi hits 2-month high; peso closes at 4 1/2-yr high

Posted at 09/14/12 6:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index rose to its highest level in 2 months, on investor euphoria over the Federal Reserve's bold move to lift the US economy. 

The PSEi gained 1.56% to close at 5,322.47, a level last seen in July as worries over the global economy battered stocks in the past 2 months.

Property stocks rallied the most as the Fed said it will buy bonds tied to the housing sector. Ayala Land climbed 4%, while SM Prime and Megaworld rose more than 1%.

At the foreign exchange market, the peso closed at its strongest in four-and-a-half years at P41.41 against the dollar.

Southeast Asian stock markets gain

All Southeast Asian stock markets gained on strong volumes on Friday, led by commodities, and with Indonesia hitting a record high and Thailand rising to a 16-year high as the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive new stimulus to drive job creation in the U.S. economy helped boost appetite for risky assets. 

Jakarta's Composite Index jumped 2.1 percent to hit a record high close of 4,256.998 points after hitting an all-time high of 4,269.049 earlier, with a foreign inflow of 142.78 million. Its previous record high was 4,234.73 hit on May 4.   

"The stimulus and stand-by policy on Eurobonds pushed up the commodity market. Hence, all commodity-related stocks got a boost. This had a great impact, given Indonesia is rich in natural resources," said Fadlul Imansyah, equity fund manager at CIMB Asset Management in Jakarta.  

The Federal Reserve launched another aggressive stimulus programme on Thursday, saying it will buy $40 billion of mortgage-related debt per month until the outlook for jobs improves substantially and as long as inflation remains contained, a day after Germany's top court gave its backing to the euro zone's new 700-billion-euro European bailout fund. 

Energy shares pushed Thailand's SET Composite Index 1.47 percent higher to a new 16-year high, while Malaysia gained 0.9 percent with $45.47 million net foreign inflow.  

The Philippines, the region's second best performer after Thailand, gained 1.6 percent to a two-month high, while Vietnam was 1.9 percent higher and Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index ended 1.3 percent stronger at a one-month high. - With ANC and Reuters