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Stocks climb on bargain-hunting

The stock market rose on bargain-hunting Tuesday, boosted by the signing Monday of the P3.37-trillion national budget for 2019 by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index gained 38.48 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,826.46 on a value turnover of P7.1 billion. Gainers beat losers, 107 to 85, with 42 issues unchanged.

PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications firm, climbed 3 percent to P1,1095, while Semirara Mining and Power Corp. advanced 2.7 percent to P24.50.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. of the Sy Group rose 2.4 percent P39.90, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. added 1.1 percent to P47.30.

The rest of Asian markets climbed Tuesday after a slow start to the day, as investors brushed off a weak lead from Wall Street while looking ahead for the release of Chinese growth data.

With few catalysts to drive business, regional equities at first struggled for traction but picked up as the day wore on—resuming an uptrend that has characterized the year.

Focus turns now to China’s growth figures, which come after a number of upbeat readings on the world’s number two economy—including factory activity, inflation, new loans and trade—that have given some cause for optimism.

High-level talks between China and the United States aimed at ending their long-running trade war are also being closely followed, with most observers optimistic they would reach a deal.

Both sides have sounded positive, and expectations for a deal have been a key driver of a rally in global markets this year and in offsetting worries about the outlook for the world economy.

“The data from both China and the US has been consistently upbeat of late, suggesting things may not get as bad as the doomsayers are proclaiming,” said OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.   

“That said, without sounding like a broken record, a resolution of the US-China trade issues must occur before a more complete picture of what 2019 holds for the global economy can be built.”

Traders are also keeping tabs on trade talks between Japan and the United States in Washington.

Hong Kong rose 1.1 percent, while Shanghai ended more than two percent higher—boosted by a rise in property prices—and Tokyo was up 0.2 percent.

Sydney gained 0.4 percent, Singapore added 0.2 percent, Seoul rose 0.3 percent and Taipei jumped 0.6 percent.

Wellington, Mumbai and Jakarta were also well up.

Traders in New York provided a weak lead after Wall Street majors Goldman Sachs and Citigroup disappointed, offsetting a healthy report from peer JP Morgan last week and causing some concern as earnings season kicks into gear.

“Obviously the markets are not expecting too much and a lot of good news are already priced in, so it makes sense for the market to take a pause,” Isabelle Mateos y Lago, a strategist at BlackRock, told Bloomberg TV.   

Oil prices extended Monday’s losses, having enjoyed a surge of more than 30 percent this year, thanks to hopes for the China-US talks, an output cut by Opec and Russia, sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and brewing unrest in Libya. With AFP

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