MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine stocks recovered from a weak opening Friday to close marginally higher on a technical recovery following a string of losses, with bargain hunters focusing on telecommunications stocks, traders said.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index finished with a 1.25-point, or 0.1 percent, gain to 1,551.23. Gainers led decliners 50 to 27, while 41 stocks were unchanged.
The index gave up 3 percent in the previous six sessions, including Thursday's 1 percent loss.
Bolstering the main index was bargain-hunting in Globe Telecom, the session's most actively traded stock, which rose 5 pesos, or 0.6 percent, to 805 pesos.
Pilipino Telephone gained 0.06 peso, or 2.7 percent, to 2.30 pesos.
On Thursday, Smart Communications Inc. spokesman Ramon Isberto said the mobile phone company is preparing to make a tender offer to minority shareholders of its newly acquired cellular affiliate, Pilipino Telephone.
"The market had a mild technical rebound,'' First Grade Holdings managing director ASTRO del Castillo told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Investors are still at bay given the lack of market moving news, concerns over the government's fiscal health and possible consequences following the country's pullout of its humanitarian contingent from Iraq,'' he added.
Del Castillo said most investors may continue to stay on the sidelines as they await the release of second-quarter corporate earnings, which are expected to start streaming in later this month.
The exceptional rise in the mining subindex may be on account of local newspaper reports Friday that cited increased mining investments as one of the factors that will help bolster the country's economy next year. - AP
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