Stocks encourage lower oil prices

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange (PSEi) spiked higher on Thursday as local sentiment was boosted by lower oil prices.

The PSEi rose 0.51% or 36.45 points to 7,203.47, while the broader all-stock index added 0.45% or 17.08 points to 3,811.83.

Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday amid reports that the United States was planning to tap reserves of up to 180 million barrels of oil. It would also help stabilize the spike in prices that was driving up inflation around the world.

Holding companies rose 1.03% while property stocks fell 0.65% as Ayala Land and SM Prime Holdings closed lower.

The financials sub-index gained 0.78%, followed by the industrials sub-index, up 0.68%; services, up 0.67%; and mining and oil, up 0.38%.

PSE data showed that 1.49 billion shares worth 7.81 billion pula were changing hands. Progressives outnumbered decliners, 110 to 83, while 49 businesses closed flat.

Thursday also saw the listing of San Miguel Corp. subsidiary Bank of Commerce, which recently raised 3.36 billion pesos in an initial public offering.

Ayala Land was the most actively traded during the session as it slipped 1.54% to P35.05 per share.

It was followed by Converge ICT Solutions Inc., up 1.34% to P30.20; International Container Terminal Services Inc., up 1.26% to 224.80 pesos; SM Investments Corp., up 1.22% at P909; and SM Prime Holdings Inc., down 0.13% to 37.85 pesos per share.

Other active names were: BDO Unibank Inc., down 0.23% at 132.70 pesos; AC Energy Corp., up 2.34% at 8.73 PPP; Bank of Commerce, up 1.83% to 12.22 PPP; Universal Robina Corp., up 1.68% to P121; and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., up 2.43% to 57 pesos per share.

—Miguel R. Camus

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Steve R. Hansen