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Stocks gain; DMCI advances

The stock market rose Friday following gains in Wall Street overnight and respectable corporate earnings in the first quarter of 2017.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 14.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,578.16 on a value turnover of P32.09 billion, after a cross sale involving Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. and parent GT Capital Holdings Inc.

Gainers beat losers, 107 to 89, with 44 issues unchanged.

DMCI Holdings Inc. of the Consunji family advanced 4.2 percent to P12.78, while GT Capital of tycoon George Ty climbed 2.8 percent to P1,208.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. of industrialist John Gokongwei rose 1.3 percent to P83.05, while Globe Telecom Inc., the second-biggest telecommunications firm, gained 1.2 percent to P2,020.

GT Capital earlier raised its stake in unit Metrobank to 36.092 percent from 26.47 percent by acquiring 306 million shares held by several Ty-owned companies. The shares are valued P24.72 billion.

GT Capital and Metrobank are both owned by George Ty.

The rest of Asian markets, meanwhile, built on a Wall Street rally Friday as geopolitical fears gave way to fresh hopes for Donald Trump’s stimulus after his top finance man said a US tax reform plan would be released “very soon.”

Global markets have taken a hit this month owing to concerns about US-Russia relations, tensions on the Korean peninsula and the president’s failure to push through a key healthcare bill.

But the risk-off mood was smothered after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the tax code overhaul promised by Trump was close. The reforms, along with promises for big infrastructure spending, were a key driver of a global equity rally since the tycoon’s November election win.

The news was met with relief by Wall Street, with the Nasdaq leading a surge in all three main indexes and hitting a new record high. The dollar, which has struggled in recent weeks against the safe-haven yen, also broke out of its malaise, buying 109.34 yen from 109.31 yen in New York and well up from 108.80 yen in Asia Thursday.

Adding to the dollar bounce were comments from a top Federal Reserve official saying he expected the central bank to hike interest rates three times this year.

Tokyo’s Nikkei closed up one percent as exporters were boosted by the weaker yen and comments from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda that he would maintain a loose monetary policy, despite an improvement in the economy.

Hong Kong added 0.2 percent in the afternoon, while Sydney put on 0.6 percent, Seoul jumped 0.7 percent and Taipei 0.9 percent. Singapore also rose. Jakarta was higher after US Vice President Mike Pence announced $10 billion in US-Indonesian deals.

Shanghai was flat, with investors fretting over news that Trump had ordered a probe into US steel imports, which raised anew the threat of a trade war between the US and China. With Bloomberg, AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , DMCI Holdings Inc.
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