PSEi climbs to new record at 6,192.42

Photo by Bernard Testa means BUSINESS

MANILA - (UPDATED 5:25 p.m.) Philippine share prices on Monday posted modest gains with the composite index coasting to a fresh record high for the tenth time this year.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange, the benchmark index jumped 24.78 points or 0.40 percent to finish at a new all-time high of 6,192.42, surpassing the previous record of 6,171.70 on January 21.

"Asian markets today were optimistic on global growth given favorable economic data from China on industrial profits. This further affirms the long-term growth story of the Philippines which continues to attract investors to the stock market," Hans Sicat, PSE president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Earnings of industrial companies in China climbed 17.3 percent in December from a year ago, suggesting that the economic condition of the worlds’ second largest economy is improving.

Leading the local market's ascent to uncharted territory was the industrials counter, which gained 1.46 percent. Advancers beat decliners, 101 to 61, while 50 issues were unchanged. A total of 2.27 billion stocks worth P9.06 billion changed hands.

Actively traded stocks were Ayala Corp, PLDT, EDC, Meralco and SM Investments. Top gainers were iRipple, Philippine Tobacco and Cebu Holdings, while the biggest losers were Jolliville Holdings, Apex Mining and CEU.

"There's really a lot of demand for Philippine equities. We're getting a lot of publicity especially with the recent Davos trip of President Aquino," said Joseph Roxas, president at Eagle Equities Inc, referring to President Benigno Aquino III’s recent trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland .

"There seems to be no reason for the market to go down except for a technical correction.  Whenever the market is showing signs of correction, investors are buying on dips, confirming the market's bullishness,” Roxas said.