Market jumps; SM Prime advances

The stock market sustained its rally Tuesday, with select blue chip issues leading the new surge on improving economic prospects.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 133.86 points, or 1.7 percent, to 7,885.97 on a value turnover of P8.7 billion. Gainers beat losers, 110 to 91, with 47 issues unchanged.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. surged 7.4 percent to P38.30, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. advanced 3 percent to P42.25.

MacroAsia Corp., which provides aviation-related services, climbed 5 percent to P27.50, while Wilcon Depot Inc. rose 2.2 percent to P11.82.

But Asian markets mostly fell on Tuesday as trade moves back into view with China and the US holding more high-level talks this week, while oil prices held gains as tensions in the Middle East simmer.

Hong Kong was one percent lower after racking up gains of more than five percent over the previous six sessions, while Tokyo ended 0.2 percent down.

Sydney shed 0.6 percent, Singapore fell 0.4 percent and Seoul sank 0.7 percent, with Wellington, Taipei, Bangkok and Jakarta also lower.

However, there were gains in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur. And Mumbai’s Sensex jumped 0.6 percent as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP looked on course to win a key state election just a year ahead of national polls.

A recent run-up in equities over the past week has also led to profit-taking, with Hong Kong hit after six straight days of gains.

US markets rose again as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He—President Xi Jinping’s right-hand man on economic issues—headed to Washington on Tuesday for a new round of talks aimed at heading off a trade war between the economic giants.

There are hopes the two sides can hammer out an agreement to end a spat that has seen both sides threaten tariffs on billions of dollars of goods.

Donald Trump’s call to help get Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE “back into business fast” soothed nerves, while Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday he was exploring “alternative remedies” for the firm, which was in April banned from buying crucial US technology for seven years.

“China is reportedly close to removing tariffs on agricultural products in exchange for relief for ZTE,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. “It helps explain why President Trump said he’d work with President Xi on this company.”

The talks come as US officials try to reach agreements with Canada and Mexico on revising their three-way trade pact, while EU steel tariff exemptions are due to end on June 1.

Concerns about the already tinderbox Middle East have helped put upward pressure on oil prices, with deadly clashes in Gaza during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem coming less than a week after Trump ripped up the Iran nuclear deal.

“In general, the market is wholly focused on the hornet’s nest in the Middle East that is an accident waiting to happen,” Innes added. 

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Henry Sy Sr. , SM Prime Holdings Inc. , President Xi Jinping
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