Stock market falls, awaits BSP move

The stock market fell Friday as investors await the next move of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas after the inflation rate in June surged to a five-year high of 5.2 percent.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 46.86 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,186.71 on a value turnover of P4.8 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 127 to 65, with 45 issues unchanged.  

Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., the second-biggest lender in terms of assets, lost 2.8 percent to P69.75, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. declined 2.4 percent to P36.70.

Megawide Construction Corp., which expanded the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu province, fell 3.7 percent to P19.20.

Wellex Industries Inc. of the Gatchalian Group jumped 24 percent to P0.31. Wellex said Thursday it might now pursue the planned development of its 17-hectare “Plastic City” estate in Valenzuela City in joint venture with Ayala Land. The possibility emerged after the rehabilitation case against Wellex Industries’ subsidiaries was terminated and the loans with Philippine National Bank settled. 

The rest of Asian stocks rebounded on Friday despite the introduction of US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods in what Beijing called the “largest trade war” in economic history.

Beijing said it had already imposed retaliatory measures on US goods without immediately providing precise details.

But analysts said the news had been expected for weeks and therefore many traders took the opportunity to buy into markets that have been under pressure over growing global trade spats.

Tokyo stocks led the gains, closing 1.1 percent higher, with markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong up by around half a percentage point.

Li Daxiao, an analyst at Yingda Securities, said news of the tariffs was already priced into the market.

“After the US tariffs announcement, the negative news finally came out and has already been digested over recent weeks. Therefore investors are not in as much of a panic as before, and the market sentiment will reverse,” said Li.

Stanley Chik, from Bright Smart Securities International in Hong Kong, said that “the impact of tariffs on economic growth appears limited for now, giving the market a breathing spell.”

But these could be just the first skirmishes in a trade war between the world’s top two economies, with financial markets worried about a knock-on effect on the wider global economy and the broader trading system.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on some $450 billion of Chinese goods—virtually all of China’s exports to the US—as he seeks to advance his “America First” protectionist agenda.

Beijing has accused the US of “firing on the whole world” with the measures, pointing out that most of the Chinese goods under attack are made by companies with large foreign investment—including American.

In the US and Europe, traders were cheered by comments from the US ambassador in Berlin, who on Thursday told bosses of Germany’s biggest car firms that Washington was calling on the EU to bring tariffs to zero on car imports—in exchange for equal treatment by the US. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. , Ayala Land Inc.
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