Stocks slip; San Miguel, PLDT up

The stock market fell slightly Friday, with investors weighing the decision of the Monetary Board to raise policy rates by 50 basis points and digesting the second-quarter earnings reports of companies.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index slipped 15.73 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,804.98 on a value turnover of P8.3 billion. Gainers, however, beat losers, 96 to 86, with 51 issues unchanged.

Conglomerate Ayala Corp., which is into banking, property, telecommunications, water distribution, power generation, electronics and transportation dropped 2.5 percent to P985, while Casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. lost 1.1 percent to P10.50.

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. advanced 3.4 percent to P143, while PLDT Inc., the largest telecommunications firm, climbed 2.1 percent to P1,375.

The rest of Asian markets fell on Friday after a broadly positive week as traders await the latest developments in the China-US trade row, while the Turkish lira briefly dived 12 percent to fresh record lows buffeted by a diplomatic row with Washington.

After last week’s turmoil, the past five days have seen investors a little more positive as they took in stride tit-for-tat threats of tariffs from the world’s top two economies, though the fears of an all-out trade war are keeping everyone on their toes.

However, on Friday Hong Kong fell one percent after a four-day win streak.

Tokyo shed 1.3 percent despite data showing the Japanese economy grew more than expected in the second quarter. The outlook was dimmed by concerns about a trade war with the United States.

Sydney was down 0.3 percent, Singapore shed 1.3 percent and Seoul dropped 0.9 percent. Taipei, Mumbai, and Bangkok also lost ground. However, Shanghai ended the day marginally higher.

The losses followed a broadly negative lead from Wall Street.

With few major catalysts in the trade stand-off, focus is now on the release later in the day of US consumer price index data for July, which will give an idea about price pressures across the country and help guide the Federal Reserve in its interest rate plans.

The central bank is tipped to lift borrowing costs twice more this year, having already hiked two times so far as Donald Trump’s massive tax cuts kick in and the economy continues to hum along.

Expectations for further hikes have sent the dollar rallying and the unit maintained its strength Friday after a top Fed official usually considered dovish indicated he would back more increases.

“If the US consumer prices data for July confirms a steady rise in inflation, it will support the dollar on the back of speculation that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates again in September,” said Kengo Suzuki, forex strategist at Mizuho Securities.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans backed “somewhat restrictive” rate levels to offset the fiscal stimulus, citing the possibility of inflation hitting 2.2 percent. Evans had previously voted against hikes on concerns that inflation would not hit the Fed’s two percent target. With AFP

Topics: stock market
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