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Market rebounds; SMIC climbs

Stocks rebounded Monday, tracking the movement of Asian markets as the positive US jobs report helped investors position for a week of central-bank policy decisions. 

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, climbed 86 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 7,233.09 Monday, following a 2-percent slump Friday. All six sectoral indices advanced.

The heavier index, representing all shares, gained 35 points, or 0.8 percent, to settle at 4,379.01, on a value turnover of P6.5 billion.  Gainers matched losers at 94 apiece, while 43 issues were unchanged.

Fifteen of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by conglomerate SM Investments Corp. which jumped 7.8 percent to P645.50 and Century Pacific Food Inc. which gained 4 percent to P17.36.  Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. rose 3 percent to P14.40.

Meanwhile, Asian markets mostly rose Monday following last week’s forecast-busting US jobs report but the dollar struggled against most other currencies, with this week’s expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike already accounted for.

Friday’s employment report reinforced a long-running belief the world’s top economy was on a strong growth track and focus is now on the conclusion of the central bank’s policy meeting Wednesday, hoping for clues about the next increase.

The Japanese and British central banks also meet this week.

The dollar edged up but was unable to hold above the 115 yen mark breached briefly last week, while the euro benefitted from speculation the European Central Bank could start tightening monetary policy as the region’s economy shows signs of improvement.

The greenback was also down against most high-yielding units with South Korea’s won more than one percent higher and the Australian dollar 0.5 percent up.

Most stock markets in Asia started the week on a high—tracking all three main Wall Street indexes—after the Labor Department said the economy created 235,000 new jobs in February, much more than estimated.

“There’s some initial upside from the jobs report but most people are waiting and watching to see what the central banks say later in the week,” Andrew Sullivan, managing director for sales trading at Haitong International Securities Group in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News.

Tokyo closed up 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong added 1.2 percent and Shanghai gained 0.8 percent. Seoul jumped one percent and Singapore put on 0.5 percent, with Wellington, Manila and Taipei also well up.

Oil prices continued to suffer following last week’s losses of about nine percent in both main contracts hit by a surprisingly big jump in US stockpiles, increased US shale production and concerns about a OPEC-Russia led deal to cut output.

“For all the somewhat hopeful talk from industry experts about oil inventories running down later in the year, the fact remains that US shale has come back harder, faster and cheaper than anyone could have imagined,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note. “Talk is cheap, and oil is getting cheaper as well.”  With AFP, Bloomberg

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSE , PSEi , SMIC
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