PSEi closes at new record high

Posted at 11/05/12 6:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Monday closed at a fresh all-time high, bucking regional losses amid concerns over the leadership transition in China, euro zone crisis and US elections. 

The PSEi finished at 5,457.82, up 33.31 points or 0.61%, beating the previous record close of 5,443.74 last October 4. The PSEi has set new record highs 24 times year-to-date.

"Valuations of our listed companies remain attractive in anticipation of the release of third quarter earnings results. This optimism has given us support to go against the downward trend in Asia, not to mention the extra

push provided by the residual market demand left over from the recent long weekend," PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said, in a statement. 

Among today's gainers are Globe Telecom and Universal Robina, after its parent company confirmed borrowing plans for a possible Asian expansion.

At the foreign exchange market, the peso closed at P41.24 against the dollar.

Asian markets down 

Asian markets were mostly down on Monday as better-than-expected US jobs figures were offset by caution ahead of this week's US presidential election and the start of China's leadership transition.

Tokyo fell 0.48 percent, or 43.78 points, to 9,007.44, Seoul closed 0.55 percent, or 10.5 points, lower at 1,908.22 but Sydney finished up 0.31 percent, or 14.0 points, at 4,474.1.

Hong Kong fell 0.47 percent, or 104.93 points, to 22,006.40 and Shanghai was ended 0.14 percent, or 3.02 points, lower at 2,114.03.

Traders were given a bright lead after the US Labor Department said on Friday that the economy created 171,000 jobs in October, far more than the expected 125,000.

And while the jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, that was blamed on more people entering the market.

The encouraging report provided a final snapshot of a slowly improving economy as President Barack Obama battles for re-election Tuesday in a tight race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the Wall Street favourite.

US stocks jumped in early trade but ended in the red by the end of trade Friday. The Dow finished down 1.05 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.94 percent and the Nasdaq lost 1.26 percent.

The jobs data also lifted the dollar, sending it to a six-month high of 80.68 yen in New York, before easing to end Friday at 80.47 yen.

In afternoon Asian trade the greenback bought 80.30 yen.

The euro bought $1.2790 and 102.70 yen, down from $1.2835 and 103.30 yen.

Eyes are on the world's two biggest economies this week, with the US presidential election too close to call, while Beijing is expected to anoint its successor to President Hu Jintao.

"The US data (released Friday) were generally positive, but markets are apprehensive ahead of the hotly contested US presidential vote" on Tuesday, said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities. - With Agence France-Presse and ANC