The local stock market barometer edged up on Friday as some foreign funds returned to the market after the MSCI rebalancing adjustments of global fund managers ended.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) added 9.37 points or 0.14% to close at 6,674.51 on follow-up buys after Thursday’s big rally.

For the week, the PSEi has accumulated a total of 475.26 points or 7.7%, mainly due to Thursday’s 5.11% gain.

“Philippine stocks edged up after investors digested another batch of positive economic data,” said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director of Regina Capital Development.

Unemployment claims in the United States fall

Limlingan cited bullish US labor data, which showed jobless claims continued to drop to 406,000 as of the week ending May 22, with the economic recovery encouraging companies to start hiring. “While the general sentiment is positive, it seems investors are still looking at when the Fed (US Federal Reserve) will start delaying bond purchases,” Limlingan said.

In the local market on Friday, with the exception of the holding company counter, which succumbed to profit taking by slipping 1.49%, all counters rose slightly.

The largest gains were recorded by service and property counters, which added 1.93% and 1.06% respectively.

Financial, industrial and mining / petroleum meters all added less than 1 percent.

Turnover for the day amounted to 12.4 billion pesos. After nine consecutive sessions that saw net outflows overseas, there were 917.26 million pesos in net overseas purchases for the day.

Progressives overwhelm

There were 119 progressors that passed 69 downgraders, while 66 stocks remained unchanged.

Puregold and Megaworld, also removed from the MSCI Global index, also rebounded by 6.22% and 5.74% respectively.

Investors also took back shares of BDO, which rose 3.35%, while PLDT added 2.88%.

SM Prime and ICTSI both gained more than 1 percent, while GT Capital and Metrobank rose less than 1 percent.

Aside from the PSEi, notable winners included AllHome, which jumped 6.49%.

On the other hand, Ayala Corp., SM Investments, Globe and BPI all lost more than 2%, while Jollibee lost 1.7%.

Ayala Land, the most traded company of the day, lost 0.72%.

A notable decline outside of the PSEi was AC Energy, which lost 1.62 percent. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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