Stocks rose for the sixth straight day Monday along with the rest of Asia, as investors cheered signs of cooling US inflation.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 38.18 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,737.84 on a value turnover of P5.5 billion. Gainers beat losers, 101 to 89, with 48 issues unchanged.
Semirara Mining and Power Corp. of the Consunji Group, the biggest coal producer, rallied 3.6 percent to P42.55, while SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group added 2 percent to P860.
Globe Telecom Inc. of the Ayala Group, the second-largest telecommunications firm, advanced 3.6 percent to P2,320, while parent Ayala Corp. climbed 2.3 percent to P750.
Asian markets mostly rose Monday but optimism was dampened by data showing China’s economic recovery stuttering under COVID-19 restrictions and a slumping property sector.
Hong Kong ended down 0.7 percent while Shanghai closed marginally lower to erase early gains after a mixed session.
Tokyo was the standout in Asian trade, climbing 1.1 percent on easing concerns over US inflation and as GDP data showed the Japanese economy recovering after the government lifted COVID-19 curbs on businesses.
Other Asian markets also got a lift from Wall Street, which ended Friday on a positive note after consumer and producer price data indicated a meaningful cooling in inflation.
Sydney rose 0.5 percent and Taipei was up 0.8 percent, even as China said it had organized fresh military drills around Taiwan as a delegation of US lawmakers visited the island.
Wellington and Bangkok also saw gains. Singapore and Jakarta were lower, while Seoul and Mumbai were closed for holidays.
China’s central bank slashed key interest rates in a surprise move Monday as a raft of data showed weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.
The figures showed China’s industrial production and retail sales growth for July came in lower than expected. Industrial production was up 3.8 percent year-on-year, but down from 3.9 percent in June and well below analysts’ forecasts.
“The risk of stagflation in the world economy is rising, and the foundation for domestic economic recovery is not yet solid,” China’s National Bureau of Statistics warned.
Beijing’s rigid adherence to a zero-COVID strategy has held back economic recovery as snap lockdowns and long quarantines batter business activity and a recovery in consumption.
“July’s economic data is very alarming,” Raymond Yeung, Greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, told Bloomberg.
“The COVID-zero policy continues to hit the service sector and dampen household consumption.”
July’s retail figures confirmed how fragile consumer confidence still is, said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
“This weakness in the Chinese economy comes against the struggle to adapt to a zero- COVID policy, which the government shows little sign of relaxing, against a backdrop of rising cases,” Hewson said.
“Problems in the property sector also aren’t helping, where many home buyers are halting mortgage payments in protest at delays to the completion of new homes.” With AFP