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Market gains slightly; DITO, AC Energy climb

The stock market ended virtually flat Friday, with cautious investors capping gains at the close of trading after Metro Manila mayors agreed to a long curfew hours to stem the rise in COVID-19 infections.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 9.37 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,728.55 on a value turnover of P6.9 billion. Gainers beat losers, 108 to 99, withy 60 issues unchanged.

DITO CME Holdings Inc., the third major mobile phone company, advanced 8.4 percent to P11.38, while AC Energy Corp., a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., rose 3.2 percent to P7.10.

Alliance Global Group Inc., the holding firm of tycoon Andrew Tan, climbed 2.4 percent to P10.94, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. added 1.1 percent to P37.

The rest of Asian markets mostly rose Friday following more records in New York and Wall Street after Joe Biden finally signed his enormous stimulus into law, while fears over inflation and a possible interest rate hike subsided for now.

Less than two months after taking office, the new president on Thursday put his name to the $1.9-trillion rescue plan that paves the way for a spending splurge that is widely seen as ramping up domestic and global growth.

The package—which includes up to $1,400 in cash handouts, extended unemployment benefits and various other aid programs—comes as the government pushes ahead with a vaccine drive that will allow lockdowns to be eased and life to return to a semblance of normality.

Wall Street welcomed the news with the Dow and S&P 500 ending at new records, while the Nasdaq, which has been battered by a sell-off in tech firms, piled on more than two percent.  

Tokyo jumped 1.7 percent, while Shanghai, Seoul, Wellington and Jakarta also added more than one percent while Sydney, Taipei and Mumbai were also in positive territory.

“Global markets continued to revel in the afterglow of   President Biden pulling off one of the most significant legislative accomplishments of all time, securing a $1.9-trillion spending bill that will undoubtedly help spur the global economy,” said Axi’s Stephen Innes.

Hong Kong fell deep into the red after recent gains as market heavyweight Tencent was hit by an anti-monopoly fine by China that fueled fears it was next on the list of targets for mainland authorities looking to reel in the country’s tech giants. There were also losses in Singapore and Mumbai.

Biden, in a speech Thursday to mark 12 months since the pandemic hit the country, said he hoped Americans would be able to celebrate Independence Day on July 4 with friends and family.

While it has long been expected, the final passage of the bill provided a big lift to equity markets, which have been rattled in recent weeks by concerns that the forecast world economic recovery will fire inflation and force central banks to lift interest rates sooner than expected.

“The administration has slipped a little bit of extra fuel to the equity markets with their bill. It’s going to be rocket fuel,” said Chris Gaffney, at TIAA Bank.

“We’re headed to new highs because of all that stimulus money that’s being put out there and it’s more broad-based than the first couple of stimulus programs.” With AFP

Topics: Stock market , COVID-19 , DITO CME Holdings Inc , Philippine Stock Exchange Index
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