PSEi reaches new all-time high

Posted at 10/03/2012 5:43 PM | Updated as of 10/03/2012 6:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Philippine Stock Exchange index hit a fresh all-time high on Wednesday, the 22nd time this year.

The PSEi closed at 5,375.52 on Wednesday, 0.50% higher than the previous day's close. The previous record close was 5,369.98 on July 2. 

"The upbeat outlook of the economy, including the Asian Development Bank's assessment in its recent report, affirms confidence in the Philippine market, pushing the main index to yet another unprecedented level," PSE Chairman Jose T. Pardo said, in a statement.

SM Investments was the top traded stock, up 2.7% to P760. Ayala Land rose 0.85% to P23.60, while Alliance Global Group fell 0.13% to P14.94.

At the foreign exchange market, the peso was almost unchanged at P41.595 against the US dollar.

Asian markets mixed

Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed with  uncertainty over a bailout for struggling Spain keeping traders on edge. 

Hong Kong, which was returning after a two-day holiday, rose 0.23 percent, or 47.90 points, to 20,888.28.

Sydney climbed 0.13 percent, or 5.6 points, to 4,438.6 but Tokyo fell 0.45 percent, or 39.18 points, to 8,746.87.

Shanghai and Seoul were closed for public holidays.

With Wall Street unable to provide a spark, regional trade was tepid as investors await policy meetings by the central banks of Europe and Japan as well as closely-watched US jobs figures later in the week.

The eurozone crisis continued to weigh after Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was not planning to ask for a rescue package any time soon, despite the parlous state of the country's finances and its dangerously high borrowing costs.

Spain, the eurozone's fourth biggest economy, is required to make a formal demand for help in order to trigger the release of eurozone rescue funds and supportive action from the European Central Bank.

Analysts had expected it to formally ask for help within days after last week unveiling an austerity budget widely seen as a precursor to a request.

"There was little to encourage a bounce across the risk spectrum overnight with moderate weakness from US equities alongside easing expectations Spain will imminently seek financial aid," said Melbourne-based Chris Gore, currency analyst at GO Markets in a note, according to Dow Jones Newswires. - With Agence France-Presse