Market rallies; URC, Metro Pacific advance

The stock market rose Wednesday on strong remittance earnings that will fuel household spending, and record level of gross international reserves.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 71.97 points, or 1 percent, to 7,299.70 on a value turnover P9.3 billion. Gainers beat losers, 133 to 90, with 47 issues unchanged.

Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas increased 2.9 percent in October to $2.747 billion from $2.671 billion a year ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Tuesday. The country’s gross international reserves, meanwhile, added $710 million in November to a record $104.51 billion from $103.80 billion in October.

Universal Robina Corp., the biggest snack food maker, climbed 2.9 percent to P158.50, while conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. advanced 2.6 percent to P4.40.

SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group rose 2.4 percent to P1,075, but Megawide Construction Corp. fell 4.3 percent to P8.70 after it and foreign partner GMR Infrastructure Limited of India lost its original proponent status to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The rest of Asian markets, meanwhile, rose on Wednesday thanks to US stimulus talks, Brexit hopes and COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, but a surge in virus cases and lockdown measures continued to cause a tug-of-war between long-term optimism and near-term pain.

After months of stuttering talks between lawmakers in Washington, there appear to be signs of progress on a new rescue package for the world’s top economy as they discuss a bipartisan package.

High-level politicians from both sides remain locked in talks to resolve their differences before the end of the year, when millions of Americans could lose crucial support.

The lawmakers are working on a plan that strips out two contentious issues that had kept Democrats and Republicans from making a deal, while they are also looking to tie any new package in the passage of a so-called omnibus bill to keep the government funded.

“We’re making significant progress and I’m optimistic that we’re gonna be able to complete an understanding sometime soon,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after late-night talks Tuesday.

“Everybody wants to get a final agreement as soon as possible.”

Hopes for a breakthrough helped fire a rally on Wall Street on Tuesday, with all three main indexes ending more than one percent higher.

That helped Asia to post healthy gains, helping pare losses following a weak start to the week.

Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Mumbai, Singapore and Wellington all rose, while Taipei and Jakarta put on more than one percent. Bangkok and Shanghai were flat.

Hopes that the economy can get back on track next year were given an extra lift Tuesday when the European Medicines Agency said it had brought forward a meeting to decide on authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by more than a week to December 21.

The drug is already being administered in Britain, the US and Canada. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Market , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , global stock market , Universal Robina Corp. , Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
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