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Stock market closes virtually flat

The stock market closed virtually flat Friday, with investors digesting the latest figures from the gross domestic product that showed a robust growth of 6.2 percent in the third quarter of 2019.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index slipped 8.05 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,065.76 on a value turnover of P6.8 billion. Losers beat gainers, 100 to 70, with 66 issues unchanged.

Alliance Global Group Inc. of tycoon Andrew Tan slumped 6 percent to P10.62, while DMCI Holdings Inc. of the Consunji Group dropped 5.2 percent to P7.63.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is into toll roads, electricity and water distribution, hospitals and infrastructure, declined 3.7 percent to P4.65, while conglomerate Ayala Corp. fell 2.1 percent to P848.50.  

The rest of Asian markets declined on Friday as investors took their foot off the pedal after another healthy week, with eyes fixated on the next move in the China-US trade talks.

Hong Kong fell 0.8 percent in the afternoon following a six-day advance, while dealers in the city were bracing for a fresh weekend of protests after the death of a student who sustained head injuries when he fell during clashes with police.

Shanghai gave up 0.5 percent after data showed Chinese exports and imports fell again last month, though not as quickly as expected, while Singapore was off 0.9 percent and Seoul retreated 0.3 percent.

Taipei lost 0.2 percent and Jakarta gave up 0.1 percent.

Mumbai fell 0.2 percent and India’s rupee sank 0.5 percent after Moody’s lowered its ratings outlook on the country’s debt.

News out of Beijing that it had agreed a plan with Washington to start rolling back tariffs if negotiations progress fired a rally in late business on Thursday, and helped the Dow and S&P 500 to more records.

The announcement fanned hopes the world’s economic superpowers—who are currently finalizing a mini trade pact as part of a wider deal—can resolve their long-running tariffs war that has hobbled the global growth outlook.

It also eased worries about the negotiations caused by reports that a hoped-for signing ceremony this month between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could be delayed until December.

“The elevation of discussion from a trade truce to a possible tariff rollback is important and suggests both China and the US have come under pressure to seal a deal,” National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland said in a note.

But dealers were unable to carry the baton further in Asia after the White House failed to comment on the Chinese claims, while a report said there was some opposition within the administration to such a move.

Adding to the malaise was a certain amount of profit-taking after another strong week across equity markets, which have been on a rally since last month as the trade talks showed progress.

Referring to the lack of response from Washington, AxiTrader’s Stephen Innes said: “Missing this critical piece of the puzzle, there remains a touch of uncertainty.”

He added that, assuming the “phase one” agreement is signed, “it’s hard to expect  much, if anything else, to propel expectations in a positive direction further. If the phase one deal is signed, the markets will then pivot to the degree of rollbacks in exchange for harmony on remaining structural issues.” With AFP

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