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Stocks rally; Metrobank, BPI up

The stock market rose Wednesday on profit taking, ending a three-day slide that saw the benchmark index dropping to near two-year low.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index advanced 79.25 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,923.08 on a value turnover of over P7 billion. Gainers beat losers, 105 to 75, with 56 issues unchanged.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., the second biggest oil refiner, climbed 3.9 percent to P50.40, while Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., the second-largest lender in terms of assets, gained 3.4 percent to P67.

Wilcon Depot Inc., a major supplier of home and construction materials, rallied 6.3 percent to P12.48, while Bank of the Philippine Islands, the third-biggest lender, rose 3.5 percent to P82.60. 

Asian energy firms, meanwhile, took another battering on Wednesday after oil prices suffered their worst day in three years, while most of the region’s major equity markets fell into negative territory.

The pound enjoyed some support after Britain and the European Union said they had reached a draft Brexit deal, though observers were cautious as it faces a number of hurdles before being given the green light.

Broader markets were lower, with Hong Kong slipping 0.6 percent and Shanghai down 0.9 percent.

Sydney lost 1.7 percent, while there were also losses in Singapore, Seoul, Wellington and Bangkok.

But Tokyo edged up 0.2 percent despite data showing the Japanese economy shrunk in July-September owing to weakness in China and a series of natural disasters hitting domestic spending.

Mumbai Taipei and Jakarta also enjoyed gains.

Both main crude contracts plunged Tuesday—Brent lost 6.6 percent and WTI 7.1 percent—on oversupply fears just as demand falters in the face of the China-US trade war and easing economic growth.

With prices now down more than a fifth from their four-year highs seen in early October, oil kingpin Saudi Arabia this week said it will cut output. The announcement fueled an initial surge in the crude market before a Donald Trump tweet calling for it to keep prices low sent the commodity plunging.

The selling continued on Tuesday and then Wednesday in Asia after Opec trimmed its outlook for demand this year.

And energy firms were caught in the crossfire.

Hong Kong-listed CNOOC dived five percent while Sinopec and PetroChina each lost around 2.5 percent. In Tokyo, Inpex was 1.9 percent down and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum sank 2.5 percent.

“Oil prices remain the hottest topic in capital markets if not in the world after extending their slide to 12 days and suffering one of the more precipitous falls in years,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.

“It’s all about the toxic combination of weakening global demand and oversupply that has sent prices tumbling.”

And Rakuten Securities commodity analyst Satoru Yoshida tipped Trump’s pressure to keep Opec from making deep cuts.

Earlier, figures showed Chinese consumer spending slowed last month, with officials pointing to shoppers saving for the annual Singles Day mega-sale that took place on November 11. However, there was some upbeat news in an improvement in investment and industrial production. With AFP

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