MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine shares ended higher Tuesday as investors accumulated stocks with strong earnings potential, particularly telecommunications companies, traders said.
"It's just earnings play,'' Mark Alan Canizares, investment analyst at CitisecOnline.com, told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Investors are banking on the possibility that the strong corporate performance (in the first half) is an indication that the economy has fared well.''
Traders said the market largely ignored President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's state of the nation address - delivered after the close of financial markets Monday - and are awaiting how Congress will act on her call for new tax measures.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index ended up 17.64 points, or 1.1 percent, at 1,560.90 after losing 15.96 points Tuesday.
The broader All Shares Index shed 0.08 point to 993.11 following a 3.16-point loss Monday.Gainers outnumbered losers 39 to 28, with 57 stocks unchanged.
Leading advancers were telecom stocks Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., its cellular affiliate Pilipino Telephone Corp., and rival Globe Telecom Inc.
Together, the three comprised nearly half of trade Tuesday.
PLDT, expected to confirm market expectations of steady earnings growth later next week, rose 20 pesos, or 1.7 percent, to 1,230.00 pesos, accounting for one-third of turnover.
Globe, the country's second largest telecommunications company, and which is also expected to report strong earnings, finished up 5 pesos, or 0.6 percent, at 825 pesos, while Piltel rose 0.02 peso, or 1 percent, to 2.22 pesos.
Other gainers were blue chips SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land, both expected to have recorded robust earnings growth in the first half.
Traders see the market rising steadily in the coming days as investors accumulate select blue chips that have yet to report first half results.
So far, earnings announcements such as those of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. and oil refiner Petron Corp. have disappointed the market. - AP
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