Stocks fell slightly Thursday on another bout of profit taking as investors continued to cash in on their recent gains.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 30.45 points or 0.5 percent, to 5,902.39 on a value turnover of nearly P6 billion. Gainers, however, beat losers, 101 to 85, with 53 issues unchanged.
Casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. declined 2.6 percent to P6.82, while conglomerate Ayala Corp. slipped 2.2 percent to P700.
Philippine National Bank, the fifth-biggest lender in terms of assets, however, jumped 15.3 percent to P22.90, while canned tuna producer Century Pacific Food Inc. rose 4 percent to P18.30.
The rest of Asian markets rose on Thursday following a rebound on Wall Street, while a report that a promising vaccine trial could soon resume after being put on hold added further cheer.
The Nasdaq led a surge in New York as technology firms, who had suffered painful losses since the end of last week, staged a strong recovery led by giants including Apple, Microsoft and Tesla.
Analysts said the three-day retreat came after months of mind-boggling gains that had pushed company valuations to unsustainable levels and provided a much-needed release of pressure.
The Nasdaq piled on 2.7 percent and the S&P 500 chalked up a two-percent jump, providing a healthy lead for investors in Asia with the tech sector a big winner, though initially gains faded and some markets went into reverse.
Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Mumbai, Taipei, Bangkok and Wellington were all well up while Hong Kong was marginally higher.
But Shanghai ended in negative territory, while there were also losses in Singapore. Jakarta plunged five percent after authorities reimposed containment measures in the capital to battle a resurgence of the coronavirus.
“The rebound rally might suggest that investors remain confident about the economic prospects where a virus vaccine still provides a pillar of support, albeit with some dents in the armor,” said Stephen Innes at AxiCorp.
“But ultimately, they remain codified around the Federal Reserve boards’ redoubtable policy support,” he added, referring to the US central bank’s multi-trillion-dollar financial backstop.
However, he did warn that virus concerns continue to play in the background as governments try to balance rebooting their economies against fueling fresh waves of the disease, particularly with the northern hemisphere winter approaching.
Hopes for a vaccine were given a boost by a report in the Financial Times that the trial being conducted by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford could resume early next week ending a pause after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.
The drug is a frontrunner in the global race for a vaccine.
The FT said people close to the study had raised the prospect of a resumption once its data monitoring board had investigated the issue.
Still, OANDA’s Edward Moya said the delay was being spun by some “as good news that developers are upholding their pledge to uphold the integrity of the scientific process of finding a vaccine.” With AFP