MANILA (AP) - Philippine shares surged Wednesday, boosted by the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to aggressively cut interest rates and the government's August budget surplus.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 73.23 points, or 2.2 percent, to 3,362.98. Gainers outnumbered losers 96 to 23, with 40 stocks ending unchanged.
"We ended off highs after posting strong gains early in the session. This suggests investors have some concerns in mind,'' said Accord Capital Equities analyst Lawrence de Leon.
Dealers said a Senate hearing Tuesday implicating President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's husband in a government broadband contract marred with bribery allegations was turning out to be a concern for investors.
Joey de Venecia III, son of the House speaker and businessman who lost the contract to a Chinese rival, testified that the president's husband and the elections commissioner improperly tried to persuade him to abandon the deal.
"It's a new distraction for the market,'' de Leon said.
Property and bank stocks led gainers on the likelihood that the Philippine central bank may soon follow the U.S. Fed's rate cut.
A reduction in interest rates would encourage people to take out more loans and hike their purchases.
Top traded Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. jumped 2 percent at 51.50 pesos, while rival Bank of the Philippine Islands gained 2.3 percent to 65.50 pesos.
Ayala Land Inc., the Philippines' largest property company, climbed 3.5 percent to 14.75 pesos.
Mall developer SM Prime Holdings Inc. gained 4.8 percent to 11 pesos.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. advanced 1.9 percent to 2,760 pesos, in step with the 2.1 percent rise of its American depositary receipts.
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