Market gains; Ayala Land rises

The stock market climbed Wednesday, tracking gains in the rest of the region on a growing sense of optimism over China-US trade talks.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 38.42 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,967.90 on a value turnover of P6.7 billion. Gainers overwhelmed losers, 119 to 65, with 58 issues unchanged.

Major property developer Ayala Land Inc. advanced 2 percent to P50, while PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications firm, gained 1.4 percent to P1,197.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. of industrialist John Gokongwei added 0.8 percent to P73.45, but Puregold Price Club Inc. of tycoon Lucio Co fell 3 percent to P42.70.

Asian markets, meanwhile, mostly rose Wednesday with a broadly upbeat tone across trading floors ahead of major meetings at the European and US central banks.

News that Donald Trump had fired his fervently hawkish national security adviser also lifted sentiment with analysts saying it could see the White House take a less strident approach and ease geopolitical tensions.

With the global economy stuttering, attention has turned increasingly to central banks as investors look for more stimulus.

On Thursday the European Central Bank holds one of its most anticipated gatherings and hopes are for a series of fresh measures including a possible interest rate cut, fresh bond-buying quantitative easing (QE) or other loosening tools.

That is followed by the Federal Reserve’s board meeting next week, where it is tipped to announce another reduction in borrowing costs as the world’s top economy—which has so far been the strongest globally—stutters.

“With the expectation of the resumption of quantitative easing by the ECB... and a rate cut by the Federal Reserve next week, the risk environment has solidified and tempted investors out of hiding from the bond markets and back into equities,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

In afternoon trade Hong Kong climbed 1.6 percent as investors made the most of the upbeat mood to pick up cheap stocks after months of sometimes violent protests in the city weighed on the stock market.

Tokyo finished one percent higher, Singapore put on more than one percent, Seoul rose 0.8 percent, Sydney gained 0.4 percent and Taipei added 0.3 percent, while Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta also posted gains.

However, Shanghai fell 0.4 percent, with little major reaction to news that China had listed 16 US categories of goods it would exempt from tariffs, ahead of planned top-level trade talks next month. Dealers also appeared to brush off Beijing’s decision Tuesday to lift limits on foreign investment in the country.

Wellington tumbled almost two percent as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government was rocked by its handling of sexual assault allegations against a top Labor Party staffer.

Trump’s decision to sack John Bolton as leading security adviser raised the possibility of an easing of tensions between the US and several nations, particularly Iran. With AFP

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