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Market falls; GT Capital down

The stock market extended its losses Monday on another bout of profit taking and ongoing concerns about the global economy.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index slumped 88.39 points, or 1.1 percent, to 7,708.72 on a value turnover of P5.5 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 128 to 63, with 47 issues unchanged.

GT Capital Holdings of the Ty Group fell 2.8 percent to P965, while banking unit Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., the second-biggest lender in terms of assets, declined 2 percent to P76.60.

Bank of the Philippine Islands, the third-biggest bank, lost 2.7 percent to P84, while Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., which is into power generation and distribution, banking, food and infrastructure, dropped 3.2 percent to P56.90. 

The rest of Asian markets were mixed Monday as bargain-buying from last week’s sharp losses was offset by a weak US jobs report and concerns about the global economy.

Investors ran for the hills Friday after the European Central Bank slashed its growth and inflation forecasts, the OECD cut its global estimates, and China announced a plunge in exports and imports.

Later that day the Labor Department said the US economy created just 20,000 jobs last month, a fraction of what was expected.

The readings from across the world knocked equity markets, which have enjoyed a stellar start to the year on hopes that China and the United States will resolve their trade war.

Shanghai ended almost two percent higher, while Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent and Tokyo closed up 0.5 percent. Seoul and Taipei were slightly stronger but Sydney, Singapore and Wellington suffered fresh losses.

“The almost forgotten US-China trade talks have been subsumed in a cacophony of data noise but remain the only game in town and will set the macroeconomic tone for the rest of (the first half of) 2019,” said OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.

“Until then, traders and investors will have itchy trigger fingers across most asset classes.”

Traders are keeping a close eye on developments in the trade talks, with conflicting comments from both sides on the progress.

China’s vice minister for commerce Wang Shouwen said Saturday that Beijing was upbeat, a day after Donald Trump on Friday said he remained optimistic but would not sign anything but a “very good deal.”

The two sides were thought to be readying for a Trump-Xi meeting at the end of March, but the US ambassador to China said Friday that they were not yet ready for a summit and deal signing.

The pound was unable to recover from last week’s losses with Prime Minister Theresa May struggling to get the necessary revisions to her Brexit agreement that would be passed by MPs.

“With no further concessions... likely from the EU—and talks were described as being close to breaking down—Theresa May is now unlikely to present the changes required to win and the most probable scenario is that parliament then moves to vote on whether or not to exit the union without a deal, on Wednesday,” said James Hughes, chief market analyst at AxiTrader. With AFP

Topics: GT Capital Holdings , Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. , Bank of the Philippine Islands
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