The stock market rose for the second straight day Thursday, lifted by blue chip issues and an initial assessment that the twin quakes that struck Central Luzon and Eastern Visayas will not make a significant dent on the economy.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index advanced 47.46 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,894.45 on a value turnover of P6.5 billion. Gainers edged losers, 96 to 92, with 57 issues unchanged.
The government’s economic managers are awaiting the assessment on the damage left by the successive earthquakes this week to see if they could impact on economic growth, which was earlier predicted at 6 percent to 7 percent this year. But President Rodrigo Duterte expressed confidence the Luzon quake in particular would not disrupt the local economy.
Casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. climbed 3.2 percent to P13, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. gained 3.1 percent to P49.50.
International Container Terminal Services Inc., the biggest port operator, rose 2.1 percent to P124, while SM Prime Holdings Inc. of the Sy Group added 2 percent to P40.80.
The rest of Asian markets stuttered Thursday after New York equities retreated from record highs, with weak economic data around the world offsetting a forecast-beating earnings season.
Shanghai was the main loser, ending down 2.4 percent on concerns the Chinese government could ease up on a recent run of mini stimulus measures that have supported the economy and equities in recent months.
Hong Kong fell 0.9 percent, Seoul dropped 0.5 percent and Singapore was off 0.2 percent, with Jakarta also lower. However, Tokyo edged up 0.5 percent, Taipei added 0.1 percent and Mumbai put on 0.3 percent.
Sydney and Wellington were closed for a public holiday.
While the mood on trading floors remains broadly positive after a blockbuster start to the year, there are lingering concerns that growth in most parts of the world is well off the pace of the United States.
A dive in German business sentiment—the latest soft reading from the European Union–a growth forecast cut by the Bank of Canada and a drop in Australian inflation were enough to keep US traders from building on Tuesday’s records.
“Investors were dealt with another economic reality check as financial data from Europe remains as sick as ever, this despite a chorus of global central banks stimulus,” said Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management.
“The weak EU economy is perhaps raising some doubts as investors spent most of the day in self-analysis mode while taking stock of their stocks.”
There was further negativity in Asia, with South Korea on Thursday reporting its biggest quarterly contraction since late 2008. The 0.3 percent drop was also its first negative since the last three months of 2017.
The data comes after investors have been on a buying spree for much of the year, fueled by optimism that China and the US will hammer out a deal to end their trade war, as well as central bank dovishness.