Inquirer: RP stocks keep gains amid news of stable political outlook
MANILA, Philippines — Local stocks firmed up for a second straight day on Tuesday as financial markets welcomed the possibility that an ally of newly installed President Aquino will clinch the House speakership.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 23.97 points or 0.72 percent to close at 3,335.71 as investors welcomed prospects that the new President would find sufficient legislative backing. This is amid reports that former Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, a recent convert to Aquino’s Liberal party, could emerge as the next Speaker at the House of Representatives.
Most indices were up on modest gains except for the holding firm counter which has been slightly in the red. Trading volume, however, was still anemic at P2.25 billion, reflecting the cautious global investor sentiment.
Belmonte’s potential Speakership is seen not only giving a legislative boost to the fledgling Aquino presidency but also provides some stabilizing factor even if his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is back in Congress. “He won’t be under threat of impeachment all the time,” said Joseph Roxas, president of local brokerage Eagle Equities Inc.
There were 47 advancers as against 59 decliners and 58 unchanged stocks at the local market.
The US Independence Day holiday has kept markets range-bound, although there was a general risk-off bias already expected to afflict sentiment on Asian assets, according to investment bank Credit Agricole CIB.
The local stock market is now building support above the crucial 3,300 mark. Investors picked up shares of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Energy Development Corp., DMCI Holdings Inc., Semirara Mining Corp., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. and Ayala Land Inc.
On the other hand, there was profit-taking on First Philippine Holdings Corp., SM Investments Corp. and Robinsons Land Corp.