Stocks and the Philippine peso advanced Friday following gains on Wall Street but optimism over a possible pause in Federal Reserve interest rate hikes was being weighed against worries about the global economy after a year of monetary tightening.
The PSE index, the 30-company benchmark of the Philippine Stock Exchange, went up 41 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 7,027.38, as four of the six subsectors posted gains, led by property companies.
The broader all-share index also rose 21 points, or 0.59 percent, to settle at 3,705.46, on value turnover of P20.12 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers, 103 to 83, while 48 issues were unchanged.
Four of the 10 most active stocks ended in the green, led by SM Prime Holdings Inc. which climbed 5.42 percent to P38.90 and Emperador Inc. which moved up 1.47 percent to P20.70.
The peso sustained its appreciation against the US dollar, closing at 53.68 on Friday from 53.84 Thursday.
Eyes are now turning to the release of US jobs data later on Friday, which will provide a clearer idea about the state of the world’s biggest economy.
“A softer payrolls data, so long as it does not fall off a cliff triggering a recessionary (backlash), could re-engage all the favorite trades of the year,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.
“Not least, it would provide the most critical evidence to date to suggest that the market’s rates pricing is more in line with reality than the Fed’s own more subtly hawkish higher for longer signalling.”
Wall Street’s three main indexes ended broadly higher, with the Nasdaq piling on more than three percent thanks to forecast-beating results from Facebook owner Meta.
However, the after-hours reports from Apple, Amazon and Google’s parent firm Alphabet brought investors back down to earth.
Apple said sales dropped more than expected in October-December, Amazon’s revenue was hit by weak consumer demand and Alphabet results fell short of estimates.
“The war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures, economic uncertainty and macroeconomic headwinds kept the consumer sentiment weak in 2022 while smartphone users reduced the frequency of their purchases,” Harmeet Singh Walia of Counterpoint Research said in a report on Apple.
Still, after a shaky start, most Asian markets enjoyed gains.
Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Wellington, Taipei, Bangkok and Jakarta were all higher, though Hong Kong dropped on a sell-off in tech firms while Shanghai was also off.
Futures in the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were both deep in the red, while London, Paris and Frankfurt opened lower.
Mumbai posted gains, though tycoon Gautam Adani took another battering, having lost more than $100 billion from their valuations since a report last week accused his empire of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud.”
Flagship Adani Enterprises was repeatedly suspended in Mumbai, hitting multiple trading stops on the way to falling by 30 percent before paring losses.
Adani Power, Adani Green Energy, Adani Total Gas—in which French giant TotalEnergies has a 37.4 percent stake—and Adani Transmission were also suspended when they hit their limits.
On currency markets, the euro and pound lost further ground after weakening Thursday despite the European Central Bank and the Bank of England hiking interest rates more than the Fed.
Crude prices extended Thursday’s losses on concerns about the economic outlook and demand, with US stockpiles rising last week more than expected.
“Oil’s in a bit of a limbo as the market awaits tangible signs of China’s oil demand recovery,” Vandana Hari, of Vanda Insights, said. With AFP