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Market down slightly; Basic Energy jumps

The stock market slipped for the second straight day as investors began consolidating their portfolio amid rising COVID 19 cases and the rollout of vaccine within the first half of the year.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 15.26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,242.85 on a value turnover of P9.2 billion. Gainers, however, beat losers, 131 to 105, with 37 issues unchanged.

AC Energy Philippines Inc. declined 4.6 percent to P6.20, while Apollo Global Capital Inc. dropped 5.6 percent to P0.235.

Basic Energy Corp. jumped 48.9 percent to PP0.70, while Premiere Horizon Alliance Corp. surged 20.8 percent to P2.55.

Asian equities mostly rose as investors struggled for traction in Asia on Wednesday following a tepid lead from Wall Street, with hopes for another vast US virus relief package offset by political upheaval in Washington and surging coronavirus cases.

Risk sentiment was given a vital boost Tuesday when several top Federal Reserve officials played down the chances the central bank will begin winding down its bond-buying easy-money policy anytime soon, despite expectations of higher inflation caused by a new stimulus.

Most of Asia was on the up, though gains were limited as investors were reluctant to pile in owing to near-term worries about the virus surge, which has caused several countries to reimpose lockdowns for the next several weeks as they battle to roll out vaccines.

Tokyo rose one percent, while Taipei and Bangkok added even more. Sydney, Seoul, Singapore and Jakarta also posted gains, but Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Wellington fell.

Democrats are pushing ahead with impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, who is accused of inciting last week’s storming of the Capitol Building, though there are concerns of further unrest leading up to Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration. Trump warned of “tremendous anger” across the country.

There is a worry that such a move could overshadow the new president’s first few months in office, distracting him from his goal of pushing through a third rescue package for the US economy that he said would be worth trillions of dollars.

Still, the prospect of another spending splurge in the world’s top economy continues to provide key support to markets, even as virus infections soar and deaths hit a record daily high on Tuesday.

Biden “is expected to announce the details of his COVID relief plan and that could cause major waves across the board”, said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.

“Analysts widely expect another stimulus cheque (for Americans), but investors will likely focus on the structure of his other plans, which could lead to wild swings in the most-affected sectors.”

There had been concerns on trading floors that while the new stimulus would give a huge boost to the US economy, it would also push up inflation later, which could force the Fed to lift borrowing costs or tighten monetary policy.

But those fears were soothed by top bank officials, who said they were in no rush to turn off the taps. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Market , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , global stock market , Basic Energy Corp.
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