Stocks rally; GT Capital, PLDT up

The stock market rallied Wednesday on hopes of a deal to end a painful China-US trade war that has jolted the global economy.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 94.97 points, or 1.2 percent, to 8,017.01 on a value turnover of P7.3 billion. Gainers beat losers, 106 to 81, with 53 issues unchanged.

PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications firm, advanced 4.5 percent to P1,231, while rival Globe Telecom Inc. rose 2.7 percent to P2,260.

GT Capital Holdings Inc. of the Ty Group gained 4.6 percent to P920, while SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group added 2.9 percent to P975.

The rest of Asian markets climbed Wednesday after Donald Trump hailed “very good” phone talks with Xi Jinping and said they would meet at the G20 next week.

The US president’s comments provided a much-needed boost to investors after a month of volatility sparked by his shock decision to hit China with fresh tariffs, ending months of apparently positive negotiations.

Adding to the upbeat mood were comments from the European Central Bank head Mario Draghi hinting at a cut in interest rates to support the stuttering eurozone economy.

Also, the Federal Reserve is due to end its latest policy meeting later Wednesday, with dealers hoping for some idea about its own plans for rates.

After a healthy lead from Wall Street, the vast majority of Asia’s markets posted gains of at least one percent—with Hong Kong leading the way by jumping more than two percent.

Tokyo ended 1.7 percent higher, Shanghai added one percent, Singapore put on 1.4 percent and Sydney 1.2 percent.

Taipei added two percent, while Wellington, Seoul, Jakarta, and Bangkok were above the one percent level. Mumbai was also in positive territory.

The rally was sparked after Trump tweeted: “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”

Later he told reporters “the meeting might very well go well,” adding that China wanted to make a deal.

“China and the US will both gain by cooperating and lose by fighting,” Xi told Trump, according to a readout by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Trump’s tweet followed weeks of speculation about whether the heads of the two most powerful economies would actually meet on the sidelines of the G20 in Osaka. Trump had warned that if Xi did not turn up, he would hike tariffs on virtually all China’s exports to the US.

However, analysts pointed out that it was in both their interests to bring an end to the long-running dispute.

“There is strong incentive for both presidents to re-engage,” said Tai Hui, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at JP Morgan Asset Management.

“Trump is kick-starting his (re-election) campaign and he will need strong economic performance over the next 18 months. President Xi will also need trade tension to cool down to support China’s domestic economy while pursuing financial market liberalization.” With AFP

Topics: China-US trade war , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PLDT Inc. , Globe Telecom Inc.
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