Defying the jittery economic trend on the global side, the Philippines still secured a rating upgrade from international debt watcher Moody's Investors Service, which was eventually felt positively by the country's equities market.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 60 points in the morning session of Thursday's trade, but clawed back minutes before news broke out that Moody's Investors Service gave the country the last of three expected ratings upgrade. Moody's lifted the country's credit rating to "Baa3," the lowest investment grade. Earlier in the year, Fitch Ratings Inc. and the Standard and Poor's raised their respective grades for Philippine debt papers.
Jun Calaycay, Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst, said that this latest development had been long expected with growing anticipation, as more and more institutions raised their growth forecast for the Philippine economy against a general downward revision in others.
"Now that all three major rating agencies have an investment grade rating on the country, we are even more excited about the economic prospects of the Philippines," said Hans Sicat, PSE president and chief executive officer.
"As investors train their eyes on us, we hope to continue to interest them behind the growth outlook of our listed companies and the variety of investment products that we will soon be offering," he added.
The PSEi ended 0.40-percent higher on Thursday, or 25.39 points to 6,387.65, while the wider all-shares index climbed 0.14 percent, or 5.52 points to 3,842.32.
According to Calaycay, the euphoria died down in the afternoon session as investors opted to cash in gains, particularly on high-bet issues.
"The PSEi components were almost evenly divided between advancing and declining counters. Nevertheless, enough optimism remained to keep the index afloat by 25 points at the close," he noted.
However, not all sectoral indices managed to end on the green side. This time, financials and industrials shed 0.10 percent, or 1.55 points to 1,569.09, while industrial lost 0.23 percent, or 21.20 points to 9,337.30.
Holding firms, on the other hand, made the largest gain for the session, rising by 1.10 percent, or 61.81 points to 5,697.37. The property counter went up by 0.96 percent, or 23.11 points to 2,437.12, followed by mining and oil, which recorded a 0.46percent increase, or 55.71 points to 12,289.70. Services went up by 0.19 percent, or 3.96 points to 2,049.11.
Value turnover stood at P6.1 billion with bears still winning against bulls, 72 to 62.
Some of the actively traded stocks were Universal Robina Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Metro Pacific Investments Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and SM Investments Corp.