PH shares leap as Fed unleashes another hefty rate hike

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The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) jumped nearly 2.3 percent on Thursday following a rally in Wall Street after the US Federal Reserve delivered another 75-basis point rate hike to arrest surging consumer prices.

The PSEi jumped 2.28 percent, or 142.50 points, to 6,379.26 while the broader All Shares index rose 1.61 percent, or 54.38 points, to 3,424.96. Over 567.7 million shares valued at P4.72 billion changed hands.

On Wednesday night, the US central bank followed through with another aggressive hike to cool surging inflation.

Luis Gerardo Limlingan, head of sales at stock brokerage house Regina Capital Development, said the 0.75-percent hike was “widely expected.”

He added investors cheered Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s statements the US economy could withstand higher rates.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Thursday it was ready to deploy monetary tools to slow price increases.

“Further monetary policy adjustments will be carried out in the coming months commensurate with the primary objective of preventing inflation from becoming further entrenched,” the BSP said in a statement.

All PSE subsectors closed in the green, led by financials and holding firms, up 3.18 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. was the top traded stock as it rose 1.52 percent to P36.70 per share.

The company’s residential arm, SM Development Corp., said none of its properties showed any structural damage after a powerful earthquake hit Abra province the previous day.

Other heavy movers were Converge ICT Solutions Inc., down 0.91 percent to P19.70; Ayala Land Inc., up 2.46 percent to P25; SM Investments Corp., up 2.56 percent to P800; and Bank of the Philippine Islands, up 5.52 percent to P91.80 per share.

BDO Unibank Inc. rose 2.05 percent to P119.40; Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., up 4.55 percent to P57.50; and Globe Telecom, down 1.43 percent to P2,070 per share. Overall, advancers led decliners,140 to 50, while 40 companies closed unchanged, data showed.

—MIGUEL R. CAMUS

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