Stock market drops in dull trading; Aboitiz Power falls


Share prices fell for a second day Thursday in another lackluster trading, with some investors opting to consolidate their holdings amid rising COVID-19 infections.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index slipped 23.86 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,415.53 on a value turnover of P5.6 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 127 to 71, with 46 issues unchanged.

Aboitiz Power Corp. dropped 4.9 percent to P22.30, while Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is into toll roads, water and electricity distribution, hospitals and infrastructure, declined 3.5 percent to P3.88.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei Group shed 3 percent to P55.10, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. fell 2.7 percent to P32.10.

The rest of Asian markets clawed back the week’s losses on Thursday after Wall Street overnight broke a two-day dip that had been sparked by COVID-19 jitters and valuation fears.

Investors took the New York drop as a cue to buy, with the  Dow rising back above 34,000 and closing in on last week’s record finish.

Tokyo led the Asian recovery with the Nikkei up 2.4 percent by the closing bell, despite an escalating coronavirus outbreak just three months before Japan hosts the pandemic-delayed Olympics.

Organizers said they may hold off on a planned announcement this month to dictate how many domestic spectators can attend the Games in light of the virus situation, after earlier barring overseas fans.

Analysts warned that an expected further tightening of coronavirus restrictions could generate worries over economic recovery as cases spike in Tokyo and elsewhere.

Hong Kong was up 0.5 percent while Sydney, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei all posted healthy gains, but Shanghai was down 0.2 percent.

Further growth in US stocks is on the horizon in the coming days with analysts expecting a run of corporate results to give a clearer picture of the post-pandemic American economy.

“US equities recovered Wednesday, snapping an untimely case of an uncontrollable run of two-day hiccups as investors quickly digested the primary culprit, a toxic elixir of two parts technical and one-part Covid heebie-jeebies,” said Stephen Innes of Axi.

“Spooky events will happen from time to time but provided the macros hold up and the Fed continues to toggle the policy taps wide open, it’s unlikely the market will shift too far from the recovery reality.”

Wall Street was showing “strong potential for additional upside” as the earnings season progressed, PIMCO portfolio manager Erin Browne told Bloomberg TV.

“While certainly investors have priced in a lot in terms of normalization in certain segments of the market, I still think that there is room to run.”

Investors were keeping watch for the European Central Bank meeting due later Thursday following overnight news from the Bank of Canada that it would bring forward its rate hike forecasts to next year and pare back pandemic asset purchases.

“The key question for markets is does the BoC Statement prove to be a watershed moment for central banks in which they revert back to outcomes based guidance as the data improves,” said Tapas Strickland of the NAB. With AFP

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