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Index bucks cautious trading in Asia

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 40.47 points, or 0.53 percent, to finish at 7,563.45, while the broader All Shares index gained 19.14 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 4,521.21. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - Share prices closed higher yesterday, bucking the cautious trading in Asia, analysts said.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 40.47 points, or 0.53 percent, to finish at 7,563.45, while the broader All Shares index gained 19.14 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 4,521.21.

Total value turnover reached P5.941 billion. Decliners outnumbered gainers 96 to 94. Forty three issues remained the same.

Meawnhile, world stocks eked out small gains yesterday as investors resisted risky bets ahead of the first round of the French presidential election over the weekend.

In general, markets cautiously stuck to well-worn trading ranges buffeted by concern over political risks and continued tensions over North Korea.

Europe’s STOXX 600 rose 0.1 percent bolstered by strong sales reported by consumer sector bellwether Unilever.  The FTSE 100, which has slid into negative territory for the year, was little changed.

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In Asia, Japanese stocks failed to hold on to slim gains and closed flat on the day.

MSCI’s world stock index was up 0.13 percent.

“Given the binary risk of the French presidential elections and geopolitical concerns over North Korea, investors are staying on the sidelines,” said Fan Cheuk Wan, head of investment strategy and advisory, Asia, at HSBC Private Banking.       

A run of disappointing US economic data and questions about whether the Trump administration can push through tax cuts have dented some of the enthusiasm for risky assets in recent weeks.

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