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Market gains on bargain hunting; URC, ALI climb

The stock market rose Monday on bargain hunting, with investors picking up select stocks with growth prospects despite the pandemic. 

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 61.95 points, or 1 percent, to 6,150.70 on a lean value turnover of P3.1 billion. Gainers beat losers, 109 to 75, with 52 issues unchanged.

Universal Robina Corp., the biggest snack food maker, advanced 4 percent to P125.80, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. rose 3.9 percent to P32.95.

Megawide Construction Corp. increased 3.6 percent to P7.50 after its partnership with GMR Infrastructure Ltd. of India secured the original proponent status from the government to develop the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

MacroAsia Corp., a major aviation support service provider owned by airline and tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan, jumped 11.5 percent to P5.63.

The rest of Asian equities were mixed Monday as a spike in new coronavirus infections across the planet forced governments to impose fresh containment measures, fueling fears about the stuttering economic recovery.

Shanghai jumped more than one percent, resuming a rally that saw the composite index jump around 15 percent in the first two weeks of July before a sharp drop last week.

Hong Kong and Tokyo were each 0.1 percent higher after reversing early losses, while there were also gains in Mumbai and Bangkok.

But Sydney and Jakarta slipped 0.5 percent, Singapore lost 0.4 percent and Wellington gave back 0.3 percent. Taipei and Seoul both lost 0.1 percent.

Traders are also keeping tabs on Europe, where leaders are struggling to unite over an $860-billion rescue package for the battered European Union.

The rally that has characterized equity markets since hitting a March low is showing signs of stalling as the pandemic rages, with new infections from Australia to the United States.

The spikes―Hong Kong saw a record rise Sunday, while Florida’s has been described as “out of control”–have led leaders to unveil new measures to curb the disease’s spread, including closing bars and restaurants and making masks compulsory.

That has raised questions about the pace of the global economy’s recovery from an expected recession this year.

An index of US consumer sentiment last week showed it hit a three-month low in July.

“When coupled with the recent stickiness of jobless claims, the Michigan survey suggests some risk that the positive data surprises that dominated through June might have hit a brick wall,” said AxiCorp’s Stephen Innes.

Shane Oliver, of AMP Capital Investors, added: “Our base case remains for the economic recovery to continue, but for the deep V rebound evident in much recent data to give way to a slower, bumpier recovery going forward.

“Shares are still vulnerable to a further correction or consolidation, with renewed lockdowns and the US presidential election being the main risks.” 

Investors are keeping an eye on Washington, hoping lawmakers will press ahead with fresh stimulus measures for the world’s top economy, with unemployment benefit bonus payments due to expire on July 31. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , coronavirus pandemic , Universal Robina Corp.
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