Jan 272013

MANILA, Philippines – The main index is seen to test record highs this week, riding last week’s positive economic news here and abroad.

Investors are expected to look for indications on corporate earnings, with some picking cheaper second and third-liners.

“Activity might be mostly ‘sequel story-sensitive’ especially those on expansion, partnerships or re-capitalization initiatives,” said Freya Natividad, investment analyst at brokerage firm 2Trade-Asia.com.

Immediate support is 6,100-6,120 and resistance at 6,200-6,230, 2Trade-Asia said.

Week-on-week, the Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 0.46 percent or 28 points to end the week at 6,167.64, just a tad lower than the all-time high of 6,171.70 recorded on Jan. 21.

The main index was driven by the property (up 0.84 percent) and financial firms (up 3.37 percent). Last week, the policymaking Monetary Board kept key interest rates at record lows amid a benign inflation environment.

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Natividad said the low interest rates will support double-digit lending growth among listed financial institutions.

However, the reversal of net foreign buying to sell position will likely cap robust gains in share prices, with some funds moving towards second and third-liners, Natividad said.

Overseas, the main gauge of institutional investors will be the highlights of the most recent US Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting.

“A sizeable part would rely on increments at the labor front, given the sensitivity of recovery and growth on consumer spending,” Natividad said.

On Friday, Wall Street picked up anew due to earnings reports of Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

Standard and Poor’s 500 index gained 0.54 percent or 8.14 points to 1,502.96, closing above 1,500 for the first time in more than five years. Blue chip Dow Jones industrial average added 0.51 percent or 70.65 points to 13,895.98.

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