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Market bounces back; PLDT rises

The stock market rebounded Monday on profit taking along with other equities in Asia following a forecast-busting US jobs report and as investors kept tabs on the progress of Joe Biden’s latest economy-boosting spending package.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 52.06 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,495.15 on a value turnover of P5.4 billion. Gainers beat losers, 117 to 85, with 48 issues unchanged.

AC Energy Corp., a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., advanced 5.3 percent to P7.31, while PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications firm, climbed 4 percent to P1,270.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is into toll roads, water and electricity distribution, hospitals and infrastructure, increased 4 percent to P3.89, while SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group added 2.5 percent to P984.

Meanwhile, equities mostly rose in Asia on Monday. With holidays keeping business limited, trading was light, but the strong employment reading on Friday provided healthy support, while eyes turn to the upcoming earnings season.

The US Labor Department said the world’s top economy created more than 900,000 jobs in March, far more than expected and reinforcing the view that it is well on the recovery track after last year’s virus-induced collapse.

“We can expect one million-plus prints if the US vaccination efforts stay on track,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley.

Meanwhile, upward revisions to figures in January and February meant 156,000 more jobs than previously flagged were created.

Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore were all in positive territory, though Jakarta and Bangkok fell.

And Mumbai sank more than two percent as India continues to struggle with surging virus infections, which have forced the government to impose limited lockdowns in Maharashtra state.

However, observers said that while they expect markets to continue their upward march this year as vaccination programs progress and the global economy reopens, they expect the gains to be a little harder.

“We are not doubting the market’s expectations of strong US economic momentum,” Eric Robertsen, of Standard Chartered Bank, said. “But the market has also priced in much of the good news up front.”

Focus now turns to Washington, where lawmakers are preparing to discuss Biden’s $2.25-trillion infrastructure plan, which he has said will create millions of jobs for struggling Americans.

Talks on the package come as the White House’s recently passed $1.9-trillion stimulus begins to filter through, with $1,400 cash handouts being delivered. 

And the chances of the latest spending spurge getting through Congress were given a boost at the weekend after a top Senate Republican said the president could get an “easy bipartisan win” if he concentrated on physical improvements such as rebuilding roads, bridges and airports.

While many in the party oppose the planned tax hikes pencilled in to pay for the scheme, Roy Blunt, the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, called on Democrats to focus on the traditional pillars of infrastructure. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , PSEi , global stock market , PLDT Inc.
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