PSEi jumps to 4-week high on US debt deal
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange index is the region's best performer on Thursday, as Asian stocks cheered the end of the US government shutdown.
The benchmark index rose 1.19% to 6,560.88, the first time it closed above 6,500 in a month.
Among the top gainers were San Miguel, which jumped 5% to P79.80 on news of a property dividend. Alliance Global also rose nearly 3% to P26, after its hotel and casino arm Travllers International set its IPO price at P11.28.
Enrique Razon's ICTSI also rose 1.4% to P102.40, on the company's plans to start construction of its Davao port next year.
Trading on the Philippine exchange was relatively active, more than double the full-day average over the past 30 sessions.
At the foreign exchange market, the peso strengthened to close at P43.06 against the dollar.
Meanwhile, Asian shares mostly rose Thursday after US lawmakers passed a last-minute bill to reopen the government and raise the country's borrowing limit, avoiding a devastating default that threatened to spark another global recession.
Investors breathed a sigh of relief as Republican and Democratic senators found a compromise after weeks of bitter rows on Capitol Hill that called into question Washington's credibility with its creditors, including China and Japan.
Tokyo rose 0.83 percent, or 119.37 points, to close at 14,586.51, Seoul added 0.29 percent, or 6.00 points, to finish at 2,040.61, while Sydney climbed 0.38 percent, or 20.2 points, to end at 5,283.1.
But Hong Kong lost 0.57 percent, or 133.45 points to 23,094.88, while Shanghai closed down 0.21 percent, or 4.53 points, at 2,188.54 as dealers await the release Friday of China's third-quarter economic growth data.
Global markets had been on tenterhooks over the crisis, which saw Democrats refuse to give in to Republican demands for a new budget to include cuts to President Barack Obama's flagship healthcare bill.
But with just hours to go before a Thursday deadline to raise the debt ceiling, Senate party leaders reached an agreement to reopen a government that was shut down on October 1, while extending the debt ceiling until the new year.
Congress passed the bill with cross-party support before it was signed by Obama in the early hours.
The bill restarts government operations until January 15 and raises the debt ceiling until February 7, giving lawmakers time to draw up a longer term deal.
Soon after the deal was announced Obama said: "Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately.
"We'll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people."
But while the breakthrough has been widely welcomed, equity gains were limited.
"Approval of the debt deal eliminates uncertainties, which is good for the market," Keisuke Shirasuka, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires.
"However, as the market wasn't factoring in a US default, shares weren't oversold. Consequently, the approval will unlikely trigger major buy backs."
Despite the upbeat news from Capitol Hill Credit Agricole said: "We have a short-term extension but will likely be in a similar 'crisis' situation early next year... It's hard to be optimistic on any easy solution in the negotiations that will take place over the next few months."
On currency markets the dollar spiked against the yen in early trade, hitting 99.00 at one point, before falling in the afternoon.
The greenback bought 98.00 yen against 98.79 yen in New York Wednesday, while the euro fetched $1.3620 and 133.46 yen compared with $1.3535 and 133.74 yen.
Economists had warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling would have sent the US into a historic default that would have put global markets in a tailspin and sparked a global recession worse than that seen after the 2008 financial crisis.
Washington's top creditors China and Japan -- which between them hold more than $2.4 trillion of US debt -- had also called on US lawmakers to get their house in order, saying a default would have devastating consequences.
In oil trade New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in November, was down 55 cents to $101.74 a barrel in afternoon trade, and Brent North Sea crude for December dipped 48 cents to $110.11.
Gold cost $1,310.40 at 0810 GMT compared with $1,282.80 on Wednesday. - With ANC, Reuters and Agence France-Presse