MANILA – The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) broke past the 8,100 level and registered a new all-time high on Tuesday as inflation eased to 2.4 percent in March.

The PSEi climbed to an all-time intraday high of 8,136.97 before ending the session at 8,098.68, up by 44.94 points or 0.6 percent.

Both levels surpassed the previous intraday high and record close posted yesterday at 8,062.79 and 8,053.74 respectively.

“Interest rates are expected to remain low with the benign inflation data released today which augurs well for the equities market. We hope to more see favorable developments in the coming months to help sustain the gains and attract more participation from investors,” PSE President and CEO Hans B. Sicat noted.

The PSEi has now had 26 record finishes since the start of the year. Year-to-date, the index has gained 12.0 percent.

Meanwhile, trading activity at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) registered a 40.4 percent increase in the first three months of 2015 to Php641.59 billion from Php457.08 billion in the same period a year ago.

The average daily turnover surged by 47.5 percent year-on-year to Php10.87 billion.

Other market indicators were also higher in the first quarter including the total market capitalization of listed companies which amounted to Php14.98 trillion, up by 17.6 percent from Php12.74 trillion in the first quarter of 2014.

Net foreign buying in the January to March period soared 182.0 percent to Php48.87 billion from Php17.33 billion in the same period in 2014.

“We are pleased with the market participation we saw in the first quarter. Investors are really keen on being part of the Philippine growth story. We hope that upbeat corporate earnings and optimism over the local economy will continue to attract investors to our market,” said Sicat.

The brisk trading activity in the first quarter propelled the PSE index (PSEi) to an all-time intraday high of 8,007.98 on March 30, 2015.

It also helped the main gauge register 23 record finishes in the first three months of the year.

The PSEi posted a 9.8 percent gain in the first quarter of 2015, the biggest quarterly gain since the first quarter of 2013 when the main index grew by 17.8 percent.

The All Shares index, on the other hand, was higher by 6.9 percent. Meantime, four of the six sectors were up year-to-date.

The Property and Holding Firms sectors posted double digit gains at 13.6 percent and 12.3 percent respectively.

The Financials sector rose 9.9 percent while the Industrial sector advanced by 7.1 percent. However, the Services and Mining and Oil sectors were both slightly lower, down by 1.2 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. –