PHILIPPINES – Stocks at the Philippine Stock Exchange joined their regional peers in posting gains in today’s session, with the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) advancing 0.45 percent to 7,138.91 points.

Most Asian stocks gained on Friday’s trading after the US Federal Reserves released the minutes of its September meeting. The minutes prompted investors to believe that the US central bank will increase interest rate before the end of this year.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, ex-Japan, was up 0.7 percent in early trading and was on its way to post a weekly gain of 5.7 percent.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange, All Shares gained 0.40 percent as all indexes, except for Services, ended the day in the green. Property was the top performer with 2.04 percent gains to 3,066.74 points.

Among the blue chip stocks traded at the Philippine Stock Exchange, Alliance Global Group, Inc. (PSE:AGI) posted the biggest gains at 7.70 percent, sending its shares to trade at Php18.46 apiece at the closing. Emperador Inc (PSE:EMP) followed with a 4.17 percent gain while Ayala Land (PSE:ALI) and Energy Development Corporation (PSE:EDC) gained 3.44 percent and 1.84 percent, respectively.

Most trade stocks were Vulcan Industrial & Mining (PSE:VUL), which gained 17.43 percent to close at Php1.28 a share. OTher stocks that posted double digit gains were SOCResources Inc (PSE:SOC), F & J Prince Holdings Corporation (PSE:FJP), Araneta Properties Inc (PSE:ARA), Crown Equities Inc (PSE:CEI), and Philippine Seven Corporation (PSE:SEVN).

Leading the declines were Mabuhay Vinyl Corporation (PSE:MVC), which posted a drop of 19.74 percent. Other stocks that posted double-digit declines were Benguet Corporation (PSE:BC), Synergy Grid & Development Phils Inc (PSE:SGP), Suntrust Home Developers Inc (PSE:SUN), and TKC Steel Corporation (PSE:T).

Most active stock was Ayala Land Inc (PSE:ALI).

Minutes of the September 16-17 meeting of Federal Reserve officials showed that the decision to delay the rate increase was based on China’s economic slowdown and the possible weakening of the US economy and inflation.

The minutes, released on Thursday, however, showed that the US central bank believed that the rate increase, the first in nine years, could be near.

During the meeting, the policymakers decided to put off raising the rates and instead wait for evidence that the US economy had not weakened. There were also concerns that increasing the rate prematurely could harm the US Fed’s credibility. –