Eased inflation, Wall St rally pull market up

THE eased inflation rate last month and Wall Street’s overnight rally furthered the local bourse’s gains on Tuesday.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 1.46 percent, or 94.96 points, to its intraday high of 6,590.11, while the wider All Shares climbed 1.41 percent, or 55.54 points, to end at 4,003.

Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Claire Alviar attributed the market’s climb to the country’s March inflation rate and the positive sentiment from the US markets.

The Philippine Statistics Authority on Tuesday reported that inflation eased to 4.5 percent last month from 4.7 percent in the previous month.

“The easing of the inflation rate in March came better than the expectation, which surprised the market,” Alviar explained.

She added the expansion of the Philippine manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) and the government’s statement on the unlikeliness of stringent enhanced community quarantine to be extended also boosted trading.

IHS Markit on Monday reported the country’s manufacturing sector posted a modest expansion in March, with a PMI of 52.2, slightly down from 52.5 in February.

Meanwhile, Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 1.13 percent, 1.44 percent and 1.67 percent, respectively.

The local sectors were in the green led by the holding firms at 2.005 percent. Total volume turnover was at 2.42 billion shares valued at P5.85 billion.

Winners outpaced losers at 159 to 61, while 39 securities were unchanged.