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PHL shares rise on oil’s drop ahead of key data

STOCKS closed higher on Wednesday as global crude oil prices eased and ahead of the release of Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) data.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 39.86 points or 0.56% to close at 7,081.36 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index added 16.28 points or 0.44% to end at 3,702.76.

“The local stock market gauge gained for the second day in three days to close near the intraday high at 7,081.36, among the highest in more than nine months, ahead of the latest GDP data [on Thursday],” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message on Wednesday.

Sentiment was also affected by the decrease in global crude oil prices on Tuesday, he said.

“Philippine shares closed higher stronger on the back of a strong Microsoft earnings boosted sentiment in the technology sector amid fears of a recession. Investors are bracing for more high-profile corporate earnings,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“Back home, investors made bets ahead of the release of the local GDP report [on Thursday],” Mr. Limlingan added.

Philippine GDP likely grew by 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the median forecast of 23 economists polled by BusinessWorld last week, slower than the 7.6% seen in the third quarter and the 7.8% print in the same period in 2021.

For the full year, the economy may have expanded by 7.5%, according to the median estimate of the economists, matching the high end of the government’s 6.5%-7.5% target for 2022.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices slipped on Tuesday, with Brent futures for March delivery falling by $2.06 or 2.3% to $86.13 a barrel and US crude declining by $1.49 or 1.8% to $80.13 per barrel.

On Wednesday, US crude oil prices were stable at $80.3 a barrel after falling in the previous session as preliminary data indicated a bigger than expected rise in US oil inventories, Reuters reported.

Back home, the majority of sectoral indices closed higher on Wednesday, except mining and oil, which declined by 55.46 points or 0.47% to close at 11,596.39.

Meanwhile, services went up by 19.57 points or 1.1% to 1,794.12; holding firms climbed by 46.89 points or 0.68% to 6,884.53; property added 15.96 points or 0.51% to close at 3,120.26; financials rose by 2.20 points or 0.12% to 1,811.21; and industrials inched up by 8.20 points or 0.08% to 9,945.54.

Value turnover went up to P5.75 billion on Wednesday with 1.86 billion shares changing hands from P5.4 billion with 1.96 billion issues traded on Tuesday.

Advancers beat decliners, 100 versus 89, while 48 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying was at P237.29 million on Wednesday versus the P361.58 million in net selling seen the previous trading day.

RCBC’s Mr. Ricafort placed the PSEi’s immediate major support at 6,650-6,750 levels and resistance at 7,100. — Justine Irish D. Tabile with Reuters

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