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Stocks retreat: LT Group climbs

The stock market declined Tuesday on profit-taking and lingering concerns on inflation despite indications prices may have peaked in October.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 33.33 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,180.11 on a value turnover of P6.8 billion. Losers beat gainers, 103 to 82, with 52 issues unchanged.

The inflation rate in October stayed at a nine-year high of 6.7 percent on higher costs of fuel and transport, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Tuesday.

The October figure matched the 6.7-percent increase in consumer prices in September. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the latest data supported the bank’s view that inflation pressures were finally moderating.

Major property developer Ayala land Inc. dropped 5 percent to P38, while SM Prime Holdings Inc. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. lost 1.9 percent to P33.

PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications company, fell 1.3 percent to P1,400 but LT Group Inc. of airline and tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan rose 2 percent to P15.10.

The rest of Asian markets mostly rose Tuesday as focus turned to the US midterm elections, which could impact Donald Trump’s presidency, while Apple suppliers suffered on reports the tech titan had cancelled plans to ramp up output of its new iPhone.

The US goes to the polls in the first major electoral test for Trump since he took the White House and embarked on an “America First” agenda that has split opinion across the country and globally.

While his tax cuts and deregulation have helped fire the economy and push stock markets to multiple record highs earlier this year, there is a growing concern that his long-running trade row with China is beginning to bite.

The vote has the added twist of an investigation that is looking at whether his campaign colluded with Moscow to win the 2016 election. If the Democrats win both houses of congress, they could push harder for impeachment, fueling uncertainty.

“These midterm elections carry a sizeable legal risk for the (Republicans) which could dent investor confidence as we will likely hear much more from (Russia probe lead counsel) Robert Mueller sooner rather than later,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.

Hong Kong added 0.7 percent, having lost more than two percent on Monday, while Tokyo was up more than one percent thanks to a weaker yen.

Sydney gained one percent and Seoul added 0.6 percent. Wellington rose 0.4 percent and Jakarta climbed 0.1 percent.

However, Shanghai ended down 0.2 percent and Taipei lost 0.7 percent.

Hopes that China and the US can resolve their tariff row were given a boost by comments from Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan that he felt the two sides would reach an agreement.

“Both China and the US would love to see greater trade and economic cooperation,” he told  the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.

“The Chinese side is ready to have discussions with the US on issues of mutual concern and work for a solution on trade acceptable to both sides.” With AFP

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