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Stocks rise slightly; BDO gains

The stock market rose slightly Friday to extend its rally for the fourth straight day, ignoring global uncertainties and ahead of the release of third-quarter earnings.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 10.27 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,151.52 on a value turnover of P4.9 billion. Gainers edged losers, 92 to 88, with 48 issues unchanged.

Semirara Mining and Power Corp., the biggest coal miner, advanced 5.7 percent to P29.50, while major power generator Aboitiz Power Corp., gained 1 percent to P35.15.

BDO Unibank Inc., the biggest lender in terms of assets, climbed 1.2 percent to P119.80, while Bank of the Philippine Islands, the third-largest bank, increased 1.2 percent to P82.95.

The rest of Asian markets were mixed Friday, with Shanghai bouncing back from early losses to end the week with a rally following a rare joint intervention by some of China’s top financial officials.

Comments from the heads of the central bank, as well as the securities commission and banking regulator, were made to shore up confidence in China’s equities and came just before data showed quarterly growth in the world’s number two economy slowing to a nine-year low.  

After starting the day in negative territory, Shanghai ended Friday 2.6 percent higher, while Hong Kong also performed a U-turn to sit 0.9 percent higher in the afternoon.

Other regional markets also pared their initial losses or ended with gains. Seoul added 0.4 percent but Sydney and Singapore were each down 0.1 percent, while Taipei eased 0.4 percent and Jakarta dipped 0.1 percent.

Wellington and Mumbai were both more than one percent lower.

Global investors have been swiped by a series of problems in recent months including rising US interest rates, geopolitical tensions and the China-US trade conflict, and they are running to the hills as they seek out safe havens.

Another round of mixed earnings out of Wall Street and expectations the Federal Reserve will lift borrowing costs for some time also weighed, helping to send all three major indexes in New York sharply lower Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision to pull out of a huge investment summit in Saudi Arabia added to the unease as it was the clearest indication yet of the White House distancing itself from Riyadh over the disappearance of a journalist.

Those losses spread to Asia in the morning, with a slowdown in China providing further concern.

The economy expanded 6.5 percent on-year in the third quarter, the weakest rate since 2009.

The numbers were in line with forecasts in an AFP poll but much slower than the 6.7 percent seen in the previous three months, and were hit by the US trade row and a deleveraging drive.

The result is the latest highlighting weakness in China, a crucial driver of global economic growth, with observers predicting fresh stimulus following a series of measures earlier this year.

“We expect further escalation of US-China trade tensions going into 2019, which will likely be partially offset by yuan adjustment and more growth-supportive fiscal and monetary policies,” JPMorgan economists led by Zhu Haibin, wrote. With AFP

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