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Market climbs for fourth straight session on bargain hunting

() - September 22, 2005 - 12:00am
Share prices closed 1.33 percent higher yesterday, extending gains for a fourth straight session on the back of selective bargain hunting in the blue chips, dealers said.

They said, however, that volume was thin ahead of an anti-government rally in the Makati financial district and on expectations the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will hike interest rates soon, possibly today.

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) put on 25.64 points to 1,959.15 after trading between 1,933.51 and 1,960.29. Turnover was 507 million shares worth P772.48 million. The broader all-shares index gained 9.25 points to 1,187.06.

Losers led gainers 38 to 30, with 65 stocks unchanged.

Opposition politicians said they expect thousands of protesters to gather in several key Manila areas, including in the financial district, to call for the ouster of President Arroyo.

Dealers said the planned protest failed to unnverve investors.

"The market has learned to live with an uncertain political environment and protest rallies have become less of a trading concern," said Mark Alan Canizares of Citiseconline.com.

Dealers were divided on the impact an expected rate hike with have on the market, with some saying it has already been discounted by investors. The central bank monetary board meets Thursday.

Top-traded Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) advanced P25 to P1,635, tracking gains in its New York-listed shares.

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) rose P1.50 to P52.50, while parent Ayala Corp. was up P2.50 to P297.50. Globe Telecom fell P10 to P770.

A shares of Manila Electric Co., reserved for Filipino investors, were up 25 centavos to P14 while its B shares, open to foreign investors, gained P1 to P21.25.

San Miguel A shares were steady at P66.50 while its B shares were also unchanged at P94.

PCCI Securities President Francisco Liboro said foreign funds chose to ignore the political noise generated by opponents of President Arroyo, who scheduled various street rallies nationwide Wednesday, including in the financial district of Makati.

The market also was unperturbed by hints made by Central Bank Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. earlier Wednesday of a possible monetary policy tightening in the near term following the latest US interest rate hike.

"Our view is there may be a rate hike by the Monetary Board, but that’s not necessarily negative. In fact, that might steady the currency," said Philippine Equity Partners Securities head of strategy and economics Jojo Gonzales. AFP, AP

AMANDO TETANGCO JR. AYALA CORP BANGKO SENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS CENTRAL BANK GOV GLOBE TELECOM JOJO GONZALES MAKATI MANILA ELECTRIC CO MARK ALAN CANIZARES OF CITISECONLINE PRESIDENT ARROYO
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