Stocks gain; BDO, PNB advance

The stock market rose Tuesday at it played catch-up with the rest of the region after Monday’s holiday.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index gained 26.03 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,988.16 on a value turnover of P10.9 billion. Losers, however, beat gainers, 104 to 91, with 51 issues unchanged.

BDO Unibank Inc., the biggest lender in terms of assets, added 1.6 percent to P131 after reporting a 17-percent jump in net profit in 2018 to a record P32.7 billion from P28.1 billion in 2017.

Philippine National Bank of tobacco and airline tycoon Lucio Tan, the fifth largest bank, advanced 5.9 percent to P51.15, while EEI Corp., a construction company  surged 20.1 percent to P9.80.

Megawide Construction Corp. advanced 4.7 percent to P19.78.

The rest of Asian markets fell Tuesday as investors struggled to maintain momentum from the previous day’s trade talks-fueled surge, while the pound extended gains following reports of a possible Brexit delay.

Donald Trump’s decision to waive this week’s deadline for China-US negotiations and his upbeat tone on their progress lit a fire under regional equities Monday on hopes the long-running dispute could be nearing its end.

However, while dealers are hopeful the two sides will reach an agreement, there is some skepticism about how much they can resolve, while some observers warned that failure to meet market expectations could lead to a sharp drop in global equities following a strong start to the year.

“The emerging shape and tone of the negotiations do not portend a resolution of many pending issues per se,” said Aninda Mitra, an analyst at BNY Mellon Investment Management.

“Notwithstanding the relief in Chinese markets and an expected improvement in global risk sentiment, the bilateral trade relationship will remain complicated.”

Shanghai sank 0.7 percent Tuesday after the previous day’s 5.6-percent surge, while Hong Kong slipped 0.8 percent in the afternoon and Tokyo ended down 0.4 percent.

Sydney sank almost one percent and Singapore was 0.4 percent off, with Seoul 0.3 percent lower, Wellington down 0.2 percent and Taipei flat.

Jakarta was down while Mumbai gave up 0.6 percent and the rupee dropped a similar amount following news that Indian warplanes had crossed into Pakistani airspace across the ceasefire line in Kashmir and dropped payloads.

New Delhi later said an air strike had been carried out on a camp where militants were preparing an attack on India, almost two weeks after more than 40 Indian paramilitaries were killed in the region.

On currency markets, sterling rose further after a report that Prime Minister Theresa May is considering putting off the March 29 deadline for Britain to leave the European Union if she is unable to push her oawn deal through parliament, in a bid to avert a painful no-deal divorce.

“Following the report, a possibility emerged that the UK parliament and the government will move towards extending the deadline, and that sent the pound to the highest level since January against the dollar, and the highest against the yen this year,” Mizuho Securities said in a commentary. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi
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