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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Market climbs; Melco, ICTSI up

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Stocks advanced for the second day, pushing the benchmark index near the 7,100-point level, as oil prices recovered and investors weighed European Central Bank’s latest rate cut.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, rose 50 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 7,098.64 on Friday, the highest in four months.

The heavier index, representing all shares, also gained 25 points, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 4,095.76, on value turnover of P9.2 billion.

Seventeen of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by casino operator Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp., which surged 9.8 percent to P2.80.

Port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. climbed 3.8 percent to P66.30, while Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., the country’s second largest lender by assets, rose 3.2 percent to P84.10. First Gen Corp. added 3.1 percent to close at P21.90.

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Meanwhile, Asian markets ended the week on a high Friday, with an afternoon rally erasing morning losses as investors changed tack on their view of comments from the European Central Bank head hinting its latest rate cut could be its last.

Regional markets sank into the red soon after opening as ECB boss Mario Draghi’s statement was seen an indication of the limitations on finance chiefs to drag the global economy out of its long-running torpor.

The bank on Thursday announced a cut in its deposit rate further into negative territory as part of a series of stimulus that also included a ramping up of its huge bond-buying quantitative easing scheme– measures that surpassed expectations.

The news sent European stocks soaring and the euro tumbling as traders gave a loud cheer, with analysts saying it beat expectations.

But within two hours Draghi told a news conference he did not anticipate making any further cuts, sparking a wave of selling that spread into Asia on fears the bank was running out of options. With AFP

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