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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Market retreats; Lepanto, Petron up

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Stocks fell Friday, amid another Asian rout, bringing to an end one of the most painful weeks for global investors as fears about the world economy and possible recession stalked trading floors.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, shed 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 6,654.45.  The gauge was also down 4.3 percent since the start of the year.

The heavier index, representing all shares, also lost 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to settle at 3,839.97, on a value turnover of P6.3 billion.

Mining and oil companies defied the slump.  Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. “A” shares jumped 13.8 percent to P0.33, while Petron Corp. advanced 7.5 percent to P7.64. Nickel Asia Corp., however, tumbled 10.2 percent to P4.30.

Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc. rose 2.1 percent to P66.90.  SM Investments Corp. gained 1.1 percent to P813.50.

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Meanwhile, the losses in Japan came as the yen pushed to more than 16-month highs against the dollar. The rise led the government to say it would take “appropriate measures”, fuelling speculation officials were considering a currency market intervention.

However, oil soared more than four percent following a report that producers’ group OPEC could be willing to cooperate on output cuts to stem a crash in prices that has roiled world markets.

Analysts say there is growing concern central banks are running out of ideas to provide support, with Sweden’s saying it would push its interest rate further into negative territory, weeks after Japan adopted the policy for the first time.

The measure—effectively charging lenders to park cash with it—follows similar moves by the European Central Bank and Switzerland. With AFP, Bloomberg

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