Market slips; Megaworld, GMA Network lead losers

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 35.05 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,459.76 on a value turnover of P4.9 billion. Losers beat gainers, 119 to 81, with 47 issues unchanged.

Megaworld Corp., the biggest lessor of office spaces, declined 4.4 percent to P3.23, while GMA Network Inc., the biggest broadcasting firm, slumped 12.7 percent to P7.82.

Security Bank Corp., the eighth largest lender in terms of assets, dropped 3.2 percent to P115, but AC Energy Corp., a unit of Ayala Corp., rose 4 percent to P7.49.

The rest of Asian markets rose on Monday after recovery hopes for the coronavirus-battered US economy fueled another round of record highs on Wall Street to close last week’s trade.

Both the Dow and S&P finished at new peaks on Friday and also posted their fourth consecutive weekly gains, following on the heels of strong data for American housing starts, employment, and retail sales.

Investors are banking on accelerated US pandemic containment efforts marking a step toward economic normalcy, with half of all adults in the country now having had at least one vaccine dose.

The easing of restrictions in Europe has also boosted optimism even as analysts keep a wary eye on alarming outbreaks prompted by new strains of the virus elsewhere in the world.

“Stocks will kick off the week at record highs, with investors digesting what appears to be an optimistic recovery despite mounting concerns about new COVID-19 variants,” said Stephen Innes of Axi.

With less economic data on the calendar in the days ahead and the Fed in a communications blackout ahead of its April 28 rates meeting, “it might be a week for spring housekeeping in the markets,” he added.

Shanghai finished 1.5 percent up and Hong Kong ended 0.5 percent higher, despite China’s first-quarter economic growth data skating under market expectations at the end of last week.

Tokyo finished the day flat after a lackluster session, with investors searching for new purchase cues.

Market sentiment in Japan has been hamstrung by a slow-moving vaccination program, though Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga hinted Monday that the country should have enough vaccines for all citizens over 16 by September.

“The market remained cautious as we can’t be optimistic about the latest situation of infections at home and overseas,” Yoshihiro Okumura of Chibagin Asset Management told AFP.

Mumbai shed more than two percent after officials announced a snap lockdown in India’s capital New Delhi.

Indian authorities have been scrambling to free up hospital beds and secure additional supplies of oxygen and treatment drugs after another record daily caseload. 

Sydney and Seoul were both flat and Singapore and Taipei were up, but Jakarta slumped.

Oil benchmarks were up with energy markets enjoying a boost from industry forecasts and tensions between Washington, Tehran and Russia, Innes said.

But he added that with “a softening in the Chinese credit impulse and a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking.” With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , fell , Megaworld Corp.
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