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Market climbs; ISM, Cemex gain

The stock market rose Monday on prospects of a further upgrade on the country’s credit rating.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 28.74 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,897.02 on a value turnover of P5.8 billion. Losers, however, edged gainers, 97 to 89, with 52 issues unchanged.

The Japan Credit Rating Agency, whose opinions matter to Japanese and other regional investors, on Friday raised its outlook for the Philippines from BBB+ stable to BBB+ positive, citing Manila’s twin efforts to accelerate infrastructure development and boost revenues through tax reform.

The positive outlook puts the Philippines only a step away from securing a single-A credit rating from JCR.

Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc. gained 3.5 percent to P2.07, while Megaworld Corp., the biggest lessor of office spaces, advanced 3.2 percent to P5.73.

ISM Communications Corp., the listed holding company of businessman Dennis Uy, jumped 14 percent to P5.77 after affiliates Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy signed a $5.4-billion investment agreement with China Telecommunications Corp. to develop and operate as the country’s third major telecommunications player.

Udenna, Chelsea and Chinatel earlier committed to invest P279 billion ($5.4 billion) in Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc., which on November 7, 2018 was declared as the provisional New Major Player by the National Telecommunications Commission.

Universal Robina Corp., the largest snack food maker, rose 2.4 percent to P145.50.

The rest of Asian markets were mixed Monday as investors struggled to track another record lead from Wall Street that was fueled by more strong earnings and a jump in US economic growth, while China-US trade talks come back into focus.

Hong Kong rose 0.8 percent in the afternoon, while Singapore added 1.3 percent, Seoul put on 1.7 percent and Wellington edged up 0.2 percent.

However, Shanghai slipped 0.8 percent, with trade weighed by concerns that Chinese authorities will wind back on recent market-boosting monetary easing measures. Sydney slipped 0.4 percent, while Taipei and Jakarta also fell.

Tokyo is closed all week.

After a shaky performance last week, caused by global growth worries, regional equities got off to a positive start and the broadly upbeat mood saw higher-yielding currencies make inroads against the dollar.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq chalked up all-time highs Friday helped by a forecast-beating report from Ford and Amazon revealing that quarterly profits had more than doubled.

The earnings were the latest in a long line of strong performances from some of the world’s biggest firms that have surprised many observers, who had been preparing for a tepid announcements season.

Adding to the upward momentum was data showing the world’s biggest economy expanded 3.2 percent in January-March, well up from forecasts and sharply higher than the 2.2 percent seen at the end of 2018. With AFP

Topics: Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc. , Megaworld Corp.
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