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Stocks drop slightly; Jollibee slips

The stock market slipped Tuesday on profit taking after a dull trading, with some investors quick to cash in on gains earned in Monday’s rally.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index stayed above 8,000 points after losing 10.72 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,013.42 on a value turnover of P6.5 billion. Gainers, however, beat losers, 102 to 86, with 63 issues unchanged.

Jollibee Foods Corp., the biggest fast-food chain, fell 2.8 percent to P315, while International Container Terminal Services Inc., the biggest port operator, declined 2.6 percent to P102.30.

GT Capital Holdings Inc., which has interests in the banking, automotive, property, and infrastructure businesses, lost 1.4 percent to P990, while, SM Investments Corp. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. dropped 1.2 percent to P980.

The rest of Asian markets on Tuesday rebounded from the previous day’s sharp losses but investors remain wary of any further sign of weakness in the global economy while the pound extended gains ahead of a crunch Brexit vote later in the day.

China’s disappointing trade data on Monday sent shivers through trading floors as it showed the long-running US tariffs row is beginning to bite.

But dealers got back on the horse, resuming last week’s rally that was fueled by optimism that Beijing and Washington will eventually resolve their differences and the Federal Reserve will pause in raising interest rates.

Tuesday’s gains were helped by a bump in financials after Wall Street giant Citibank said it provided a positive outlook for its trading environment ahead of the corporate earnings season, while energy firms were supported by rising oil prices.

Hong Kong climbed 1.8 percent in the afternoon, Shanghai ended up 1.4 percent, with investors also cheered by news that officials are planning a range of tax cuts to support the stuttering economy.

Tokyo gained one percent while Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, and Mumbai were each more than one percent higher. Sydney, Wellington, and Jakarta were also well up.

Still, uncertainty is keeping traders’ feet on the ground, with the US shutdown, which is now in its fourth week beginning to fuel concerns and showing no sign of ending soon.

“There are two macro events that continue to weigh on market perspective,” Frances Donald, an analyst at Manulife Asset Management, said.

“The first is where is global growth heading next, and weak Chinese trade data would suggest that global growth is certainly not bottomed as of yet. And the second issue is the persistence of the US government shutdown and how that muddies our perspective about what happens next.”

The pound continues to rise against the dollar and is now sitting above the $1.29 mark for the first time since late November ahead of the vote by MPs on Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial Brexit deal.

While the plan is expected to lose, experts say the margin of loss will be key. A massive defeat for the government would mean her deal is dead in the water and the pound could dive to a two-year low of around $1.22. With AFP

Topics: Philippine Stock Exchange index , Jollibee Foods Corp. , International Container Terminal Services Inc. , GT Capital Holdings Inc.
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