Market declines; Bloomberry drops

The stock market retreated for a second straight day Friday, weighed down by the delay in the passage of the proposed 2019 budget that threatens to curtail economic growth.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 74.98 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,880.82 on a value turnover of P7 billion. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 121 to 71, withy 45 issues unchanged.

The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it reduced the 2019 growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.5 percent from 6.6 percent due to the delayed approval of the 2019 government budget.

Bloomberry Resorts Corp., the owner and operator of Solaire Resort & Casino, declined 3.3 percent to P12.42 on profit-taking. The company said Thursday it was set to start construction of a $308-million cruise port in Parañaque City in the third quarter of the year.

International Container Terminal Services Inc., the biggest port operator, dropped 3 percent to P127.30, while Puregold Price Club Inc. of retail tycoon Lucio Co lost 2.6 percent to P47.70.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. of the Sy Group slipped 1.6 percent to P39.

The rest of Asian markets were mixed Friday as a volatile week drew to a close with investors preparing for the start of the corporate earnings season.

With few fresh developments on the China-US trade talks, the rally that characterized the first three months of the year appears to be running out of steam, while Donald Trump’s threats of tariffs against Europe has jolted confidence.

With Wall Street providing a weak lead, Asian equities struggled for direction.

Tokyo finished 0.7 percent higher as the dollar’s rebound encouraged buying, while Shanghai pared earlier losses to close marginally down.

Hong Kong was off 0.2 percent in late trade, while Sydney and Seoul both ended the day well into positive territory. Singapore was down in late trade.

Data Friday showed China’s imports falling more than expected in March, signaling ongoing fragility in the world’s number two economy, even as exports enjoyed a sharp rise.   

Total imports sank 7.6 percent on-year last month while exports rose 14.2 percent, the data from China’s customs administration showed.   

Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a slight 0.2 percent rise in imports with exports projected to grow 6.5 percent.

The readings come after a run of positive releases from Beijing including forecast-beating factory activity and a jump in inflation in the world’s second largest economy.

“Recent improvements in China activity data... expectations of further feed-through from policy stimulus to the real economy and   signs of some partial form of US-China trade truce have all given rise to a more bullish China sentiment,” said Jasslyn Yeo, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.

The business reporting season gets underway Friday in the United States and observers will be looking for a read of the corporate landscape in the first three months of the year.   

The firms’ forecasts will be pored over but overall expectations for the quarter are low. With AFP

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