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Stock market rises; PNB, SM Investments advance

The stock market bounced back Friday on bargain hunting, ignoring another tech-led rout on Wall Street overnight.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 65.57 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,967.96 on a value turnover of P4.2 billion. Losers, however, edged gainers, 92 to 90, with 51 issues unchanged.

Philippine National Bank, the fifth-biggest lender inters of assets, climbed 4.4 percent to P23.90, while SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group advanced 2.8 percent to P905.

PLDT Inc., the largest telecommunications firm, increased 2.6 percent to P1,485, while Universal Robina Corp., the biggest snack food maker, added 1.9 percent to P144.90.

The rest of Asia markets were mixed Friday, while the failure of US lawmakers to reach agreement on a much needed stimulus weighed on sentiment.

The pound struggled to fight its way out of a trough as sparring between Britain and the European Union raised the prospect they will not reach a trade agreement.

A day after Wednesday’s healthy bounce, New York’s three main indexes went into reverse again led by global tech titans including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, and that spread into other sectors leading analysts to warn of more such volatility.

Large tech firms have soared during the pandemic thanks to a surge in demand for digital services, streaming and e-commerce but there is a growing concern that the “work from home” trade may have been overblown.

“Ahead of the (November) US election we have been highlighting the potential for markets to become unsettled over September and October with many known unknowns entering crucial stages,” said National Australia Bank’s Rodrigo Catril.

“Brexit is back in focus... hopes of a new US fiscal stimulus have faded even more alongside an uptick in jobless claims, meanwhile the EU has surpassed the US in new COVID-19 cases. All of this against a backdrop of elevated equity prices.”

Despite the US sell-off, Asian investors pushed some local markets higher, with Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai and Seoul all up. Jakarta surged more than two percent a day after losing five percent on news of fresh containment measures in the city.

But Sydney, Taipei, Singapore, Wellington and Bangkok fell.

There was more disappointment from Washington after a $500 billion relief package—aimed at the most pressing areas—failed to pass the Republican-led Senate, making the chances of a second round of much needed help for Americans unlikely any time soon.

Democrats voted against the bill, meaning Republicans could not get the 60 votes needed to get it through, as they said it was too small to help people. The proposal was half of what Republicans had previously pushed for and a quarter of the Democrats’ plan.

Capitol Hill has been bickering over the deal for months, even after emergency cash handouts to the most needy ran out last month, putting millions in financial crisis.

Stephen Innes at AxiCorp pointed out that with US consumers—the crucial driver of the world’s top economy—unable to spend, the recovery was in danger of coming off the rails. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Wall Street , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Philippine National Bank , Universal Robina Corp , European Union , Rodrigo Catril , National Australia Bank
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