Philippine shares rise 0.2% on bargain hunting


MANILA: Philippine shares rose slightly Tuesday, with investors providing a last-minute boost for stock prices to snap a four-day decline touched off by renewed security concerns. 

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 3.86 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,103.37, after retreating 0.4 percent Monday to 2,099.51.  

In the four trading days to Monday, the market shed 2.5 percent on renewed security concerns following the escape from detention of four rebel soldiers. 

"Investors are moving back to bellwether stocks,'' said Mark Canizares, investment analyst at Citiseconline.com. 

He said the favorable budget deficit data released Monday provided a slight counterbalance to the lingering security and political concerns. 

The Philippines posted a 146.5 billion peso (US$2.8 billion; euro2.3 billion) budget deficit for 2005, short of the government's target but big enough to ensure an increase in the value-added tax rate - the government's main tool to boost public finances. 

Leading advancers were Bank of the Philippine Islands, up 1.7 percent to 58.50 pesos, shopping mall operator SM Prime Holdings Inc., which gained 2.6 percent to 7.80 pesos, and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which rose 0.3 percent to 1,750 pesos after recent losses. 

Gainers narrowly edged losers 40 to 39, with 53 issues unchanged. - AP

For Another perspective from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a partner of Asia News Network, click here

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