Market down again; MPIC drops

Stocks fell Wednesday ahead of the policy meeting today of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, where the market expects a rate increase of 50 basis points.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index lost 63.96 points, or 0.9 percent to 7,268.21 on a value turnover of P4.9 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 121 to 66, with 54 issues unchanged.

Security Bank Corp., the sixth-biggest lender in terms of assets, tumbled 7.6 percent to P156, while Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is into toll roads, water and electricity distribution, power generation and hospitals, slumped 5.5 percent to P4.65.

GT Capital Holdings of tycoon George Ty dropped 5.3 percent to P805, while Globe Telecom Inc., the second-largest telecommunications firm, declined 5.2 percent to P2,066.

Meanwhile, most Asian markets rose on Wednesday, with energy firms surging along with oil prices, as traders await the conclusion of a key Federal Reserve policy meeting.

While worries about the China-US trade row continue to erode confidence, the strong US economy and healthy corporate outlook are providing some buoyancy for now.

The weekend decision by major producers from inside and outside the Opec to maintain output—despite Donald Trump’s call for lower prices—has sent both main contracts sharply higher this week.

Trump hit out at Opec in his United Nations General Assembly speech Tuesday, accusing it of “ripping off the rest of the world.”

Brent is sitting around four-year highs and WTI is heading close to that mark, with a stronger dollar and an expected output cut from Iran caused by US sanctions adding some lift.

“Oil prices remain in the bulls’ domain amid concern that US sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports will result in much tighter physical market conditions once they take effect in November,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA.

And while prices were flat Wednesday following a surprise gain in US stockpiles, energy firms shot higher.

Hong Kong jumped 1.5 percent in the afternoon and Shanghai ended 0.9 percent higher.

Mainland Chinese traders were also cheered by news that global equities index compiler MSCI is considering quadrupling the weighting of Chinese large-cap shares in its benchmark Emerging Markets Index over the next two years.

Tokyo closed 0.4 percent stronger, Sydney rose 0.1 percent and Singapore put on 0.7 percent, with Bangkok and Jakarta also up.

But Taipei and Wellington were flat while Mumbai fell.

CNOOC added 4.4 percent and PetroChina piled on almost five percent in Hong Kong, while Sinopec jumped 2.8 percent. Inpex of Japan put on two percent and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum added 1.5 percent.

The gains boosted broader markets.

With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates Wednesday, governor Jerome Powell’s post-meeting statement will be closely watched for clues about its next move, with an eye on the increasingly bitter China-US trade dispute. With AFP

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