Stocks rise; Megaworld, Ayala Land lead gainers

The stock market rose slightly Monday after President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday signed into law Bayanihan 2, which provides for a P165-billion COVID-19 relief package.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 29.18 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,997.14 on a value turnover of P4.7 billion. Gainers beat losers, 110 to 99, with 37 issues unchanged.

The bulk of the relief measure covers a P140-billion aid package for industries negatively impacted by the pandemic. A standby fund of P25.52 billion may be tapped by the government for additional COVID-related expenses before the 2021 budget takes effect.

Dito CME Holdings Corp., the third major telecommunications company, advanced 5.8 percent to P3.63, while major property developer Ayala Land Inc. climbed 3 percent to P31.30.

Megaworld Corp., the biggest lessor of office spaces, increased 2.9 percent to P3.16, while Globe Telecom Inc., the second-largest telecom firm, rose 2.2 percent to P2,126.

The rest of Asian markets pushed higher Monday as investors creep back after a recent sell-off, with coronavirus vaccine hopes given a boost and traders looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

Hong Kong and Sydney both added 0.7 percent and Shanghai was up 0.6 percent.

Tokyo rallied 0.7 percent thanks to a surge of nine percent in SoftBank after it said Monday it is to sell British chip designer Arm to NVIDIA of the US for up to $40 billion in what would be one of the biggest purchases in the world this year.

There was little reaction to the expected election of Yoshihide Suga as Japan’s new prime minister.

Seoul jumped more than one percent, Jakarta surged more than two percent and Taipei put on 0.9 percent. Wellington and Mumbai were also up.

But the reimposition of virus containment measures in several countries, worries about high stock valuations, Brexit tensions and uncertainty over the US presidential election are keeping gains in check.

Trials on one of the most advanced vaccines resumed at the weekend after being paused briefly after a volunteer fell ill. British regulators gave AstraZeneca and Oxford University the go-ahead to push on following an investigation.

Oxford University said that “in large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated.”

And AstraZeneca said it remained hopeful the vaccine would still be available “by the end of this year, early next year.” AFP

The news provided much-needed relief for markets, just as governments across the world see a worrying surge in new infections, forcing Israel to introduce a three-week lockdown.

Britain, France, Austria and the Czech Republic were among European countries reporting surges, with new cases in the UK reaching more than 3,000 in 24 hours for the second day in a row on Saturday.

After a spate of local lockdowns this month, new government restrictions come into force across England on Monday, limiting social gatherings to no more than six people.

Analysts said attention is turning increasingly to the November presidential election, with Donald Trump battling to keep the White House against Joe Biden, who is leading in opinion polls. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , Global stock market , COVID-19 , Megaworld , Ayala Land
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