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Market advances; ICTSI climbs

Stocks rose for a second day, ahead of a much-anticipated Federal Reserve policy meeting which investors hope will provide clarity on the US central bank’s interest rate plans for the rest the year.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, went up 28 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 7,261.75 Tuesday.  Four of the six sectoral indices posted gains, with only mining and oil and property ending in the red.

The heavier index, representing all shares, picked up 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to settle at 4,383.33, on a value turnover of P7.1 billion.  Losers outnumbered gainers, 105 to 86, while 48 issues were unchanged.

Eleven of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. which climbed 5 percent to P79.20, after announcing the opening of a new terminal in Colombia.

Food manufacturer Universal Robina Corp. rose 2.8 percent to P164.60, while chemical producer D&L Industries Inc. added 1.8 percent to close at P12.72.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks were mixed as shares in India jumped to a record on election results while Japanese stocks slipped. The dollar strengthened before central bank meetings this week, and oil held declines after a six-day losing streak.

While a string of upbeat economic readings in recent months have made a hike at Wednesday’s gathering an odds-on bet, there is uncertainty about its outlook, dampening buying sentiment of late.

“Markets fully expect a rate rise, so market reaction is likely to be muted unless the Fed disappoints, which would lead to lower bond yields and a lower dollar, although that is not our expectation,” Mike Bell, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, wrote in a note.

“All attention is likely to be focused on the press conference to see whether a more hawkish tone is struck, if so yields and the dollar could move higher still.”

In afternoon Asian trade, the dollar edged up slightly against the yen, euro and pound.

Tokyo ended 0.1 percent lower but struggling industrial giant Toshiba reversed an earlier near nine percent slide to end slightly higher after it was given approval to delay the release of its earnings results.

The firm had been hammered as news it would not release its numbers Tuesday raised fears it could be yanked from Japan’s premier stock exchange. The delay stems from an investigation into the US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, the Nikkei business daily said.

In other markets, Hong Kong dipped 0.2 percent, Shanghai edged up slightly 0.1 percent and Sydney was flat. Seoul ticked 0.8 percent higher and Singapore was also barely moved.

Regional investors were given a tepid lead from New York as the northeast coast of the US steels for a massive storm that could affect economic output.

And in Europe, Britain is on the cusp of officially triggering Article 50 to leave the EU while there is growing unease about Wednesday’s elections in the Netherlands that far-right anti-EU nationalists are predicted to score well in.

Elections in France and Germany later in the year are also keeping investors on edge, with populists in both countries threatening the status quo. With AFP, Bloomberg

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