Stocks end flat; SM Prime rises

The stock market closed virtually flat Tuesday in dull trading, with investors keeping tabs on the latest developments in the China-US trade talks.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 2.96 points, or 0.04 percent, to 8,012.34 on a value turnover of P4.7 billion. Losers, however, beat gainers, 100 to 76, withy 57 issues unchanged.

Alliance Global Group Inc. of tycoon Andrew Tan climbed 3.2 percent to P11.64, while SM Prime Holdings, the biggest integrated property company, rose 2 percent to P39.90.

DMCI Holdings Inc. of the Consunji Group gained 2 percent to P8.06, but Aboitiz Power Corp. of the Aboitiz Group fell 2.6 percent to P37.75.

The rest of Asian markets broadly rose Tuesday, while Hong Kong saw a slight recovery after the previous day’s steep losses.

The pound held gains after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was given a boost by news the Brexit party would not run against his Conservatives in hundreds of seats in next month’s general election.

Shanghai climbed 0.2 percent, Tokyo, Seoul, and Taipei each ended 0.8 percent higher, Singapore added 0.6 percent, and Jakarta put on 0.1 percent.

However, Sydney fell 0.3 percent.

While there is a broad expectation China and the US will eventually reach a mini trade pact, the waters were muddied over the weekend after Donald Trump appeared to dismiss Beijing’s claims they had agreed a plan to roll back tariffs as the talks progress.

The comments reminded dealers that the negotiations, while advancing, remained fragile and that a wider deal will have some bumps along the way.

“Markets have been skittish,” Matt Forester, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon’s Lockwood Advisors, said.

“We will need more concrete information about the structure and timing of any kind of final trade arrangement, but in the meantime we are operating on scraps of information.”

Stephen Innes at AxiTrader said a speech by Trump at the New York Economic Club later in the day “could be the main event this week, especially if the president dangles any tangible details about his upcoming meeting with President Xi (Jinping).”

Hong Kong rose but traders moved cautiously after stocks plunged more than two percent Monday as the city was wracked by some of the worst violence seen during months of protests, with one person shot and another set on fire.

The city remains on edge, with sporadic protests taking place on Tuesday, while the US expressed “grave concern” over the situation in Hong Kong and called for restraint by security forces and protesters.

“It is the 24th week of unrest and it is still very unclear what can de-escalate the situation,” said National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland. “Nevertheless, for as long as Beijing gives Hong Kong latitude to deal with the protests, it is likely the unrest will only have an isolated impact on financial markets.”

OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said concerns about Chinese intervention would increase, “potentially putting another nail into a Hong Kong economy that is now deep in recession.” With AFP

Topics: China-US trade talks , trade talks , Philippine Stock Exchange , Alliance Global Group Inc.
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