Stock market rises; BDO up

Stocks rose for a second day, as the government’s announcement that the economy grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter continued to support the local equities market.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, rose 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 8,321.98 Monday, following a 1.3-percent rise Friday.  Total gains this year reached 21.7 percent.

The heavier index, representing all shares, lost 2 points to settle at 4,871.75, on a value turnover of P5.6 billion.  Losers outnumbered gainers, 122 to 80, while 42 issues were unchanged.

Ten of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by real estate company MRC Allied Inc. which jumped 13.2 percent to P0.385 and oil exploration company PXP Energy Corp. which climbed 9.1 percent to P9.80.

BDO Unibank Inc., the largest lender, gained 1.7 percent to P148.70, while SM Investments Corp., the holding company of the Sy family, rose 1.5 percent to P980.

Meanwhile, the euro faced fresh pressure in Asian trade on Monday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to form a government at the weekend, fueling uncertainty in Europe’s biggest economy.

Traders tracked a sell-off on Wall Street, where all three main indexes finished in the red on profit-taking and worries that US lawmakers will struggle to push through Donald Trump’s tax-cut plans.

While the House of Representatives approved its version of the reform legislation and a key Senate panel cleared a different version, the Republicans’ wafer-thin majority in the Senate mean they will have a tough fight to clear the upper chamber.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin predicted a final draft would reach Trump’s desk by Christmas, but observers said that time-frame would be tough given the tight margins and some senators’ concerns over some of the measures.

Hopes for market-friendly tax cuts as well as major infrastructure spending and deregulation helped fuel a surge in global equities this year.

The losses in New York continued in Asia on Monday but some markets managed to bounce back in the afternoon.

Tokyo ended down 0.6 percent, while Sydney shed 0.2 percent and Seoul lost 0.3 percent.

However, Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent in the afternoon, putting it on course for a fourth straight gain, while Singapore was up 0.1 percent.

Shanghai rose 0.3 percent, though dealers remained cautious after Friday’s announcement of a crackdown on the wealth management industry, which will regulate almost $15 trillion in assets, as part of a drive to address a huge debt mountain.

Jakarta hit another record high, rising 0.6 percent.

On currency markets, the euro fell after Merkel’s attempts to form a new government collapsed -- plunging Germany into a crisis that could see it hold fresh elections.

The leader of the pro-business FDP, Christian Lindner, walked out of talks, saying there was no “basis of trust” to forge a government with Merkel’s conservative alliance the CDU-CSU and the ecologist Greens.

There are fears the country could be gripped by months of paralysis with a lame-duck government, while Merkel’s political future has also been called into question. With AFP, Bloomberg

“The news is negative for the euro but its longer-term implications are not clear yet,” Mansoor Mohi-uddin, head of currency strategy in Singapore at NatWest Markets, told Bloomberg News.

However, while the euro has taken a hit, Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA, said he doubted the sell-off would be sustained.

“Liquidity is exceptionally thin and could exaggerate moves. But this knee-jerk reaction does look a bit overdone as Merkel can still establish a minority government with either the FDP or Green Party,” he said.

Oil prices were mixed but both main contracts managed to hold on to Friday’s surge. That came after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khaled al-Faleh said he remained committed to an OPEC deal to limit production.


Topics: Stocks , PSE , PXP Energy Corp. , Steven Mnuchin
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