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Philippine shares rise on Wall Street rally, 2007 outlook

Philippine shares rise on Wall Street rally, 2007 outlook

Philippine shares surged Thursday on a Wall Street rally and an upbeat growth outlook for 2007, paving the way for more gains during the next session.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 59.91 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,943.38 _ its best finish since April 18, 1997. The index was up 0.9 percent Wednesday.
Stocks with a generally favorable earnings outlook dominated trading, led by geothermal producer PNOC-Energy Development, which gained 4.4 percent to 4.80 pesos.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. rose 4.3 percent to 2,450 pesos, in step with the 1 percent rise in the company's American Depositary Receipts in New York on Wednesday.
Other active stocks included SM Prime, up 7.1 percent to 11.25 pesos on expectations that the country's largest mall operator benefited from improved consumer spending during the Christmas season.
Filinvest Land rose 6.1 percent to 2.10 pesos ahead of the housing concern's scheduled secondary stock offering in late January.
Property stocks also were favored, given expectations of continuing strong demand next year. Ayala Land gained 1.6 percent to close at 15.50 pesos, while Megaworld was up 2.6 percent to 2.34 pesos.
AB Capital Securities research director Jose Vistan said the 0.8 percent advance made by the Dow Jones Industrial average on Wednesday, coupled with gains made by most Asian markets during Thursday's morning session, reflect the generally bullish view of investors for next year.
Gainers led decliners 65 to 26, while 58 stocks were unchanged.
The peso hit a fresh six-year high Thursday on stock market inflows and remittances from Filipino expatriates.
The U.S. dollar closed at 49.10 pesos, down from 49.19 pesos Wednesday.