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Stocks regain momentum after heavy selling

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - Investors participated in the stock market today, five days after selling their positions, following positive developments in the United States.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 0.3 percent or 16.25 points to 5,369.72, while the broader all-share index added 0.35 percent or 12.27 points to 3,567.91.

Trading volume reached 12.47 billion shares worth P27.48 billion ($662.15 million) with 89 stocks advancing, 74 declining, and 34 were unchanged.

Of the six counters, only the holding firm sector bucked the trend.

"The local barometer is already ripe for technical rallies, following correction to 5,350 level in prior tradings. Bargain hunters took advantage of the local market's 'cheap state' to reposition on stocks which were battered previously," brokerage 2TradeAsia.com said.

DBP-Daiwa Securities, Inc. said investors were inspired by the latest development in the US jobless claims, which shrunk to its lowest level in more than four and a half years.

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The US Labor Department reported on Thursday that less Americans filed for jobless benefits last week, the lowest in more than four and a half years.

The brokerage said this latest development has trickled down to most emerging markets advanced, many of which ended the session in the positive on Friday.

Another positive development that inspired investors to re- enter the equities after five days of heavy selling is the agreement between China and Japan that both countries will hold talks over territorial dispute.

Stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed. Among the top lowers were SM Investments Corp. and Metrpolitan Bank and Trust Co.

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