Stock mart rallies; PLDT, JG Summit lead advances


The stock market rallied Monday on bargain hunting after plummeting last week, boosted by an assurance that the Philippines is set to receive the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines starting mid-February.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 202.14 points, or 3.1 percent, to 6,814.76 on a value turnover of nearly P10 billion. Gainers beat losers, 130 to 82, with 45 issues unchanged.

PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications firm, advanced 7.1 percent to P1,406, while SM Prime Holdings Inc. of the Sy Group rose 6.4 percent to P37.55.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei Group climbed 6.2 percent to P64.55, while Abacore Capital Holdings Inc. surged 50 percent to P1.35

The rest of Asian and European stock markets bounced Monday following last week’s blood-letting as bargain-buyers moved in, but dealers remain on edge as surging infections and a stuttering vaccination rollout offset long-term hopes for the economic recovery.

Worries about online retail investors’ attack on Wall Street short traders was also causing angst on trading floors, with fears they are being forced to sell some equities to cover their backs while silver rallied as it became the new target of buying.

Global markets were a sea of red last week owing to a combination of issues including rising virus cases, problems with countries’ immunization programs and worries about high valuations following a months-long rally.

New York’s three main indexes all ended Friday with steep losses and there is talk that equities will see a correction.

Still, the new week started on a positive note, with Hong Kong and Seoul up more than two percent, while Tokyo and Taipei jumped more than one percent. Jakarta piled on more than three percent and there were also big gains in Shanghai, Sydney and Bangkok. Singapore and Wellington both fell.

Mumbai soared more than four percent as traders welcomed the announcement of a big-spending COVID-19 budget that will see more than $13 billion splurged on a range of measures including infrastructure and healthcare.

“Despite lockdown and mobility restrictions tightening, leading to a first-quarter slowdown, the global economy will register the most vigorous global growth explosion in decades in 2021,” said Axi strategist Stephen Innes.  

“And when combined with the continued policy support, it should ultimately outweigh any risk parity-driven sell-off in stocks.” With AFP

He added that while the vaccine rollouts were having teething problems, they “will ultimately be the linchpin for the global recovery.”

But he warned there was a growing fear that the spread of more highly infectious variants of the virus could slow the easing of containment measures, which would affect the global recovery and could lead to some nations seeing a double dip recession.

Data out of China at the weekend showed growth in economic activity appeared to have slowed in January as officials imposed fresh containment measures to counter new clusters of the virus in parts of the country. With AFP

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