The stock market rallied Thursday on improving economic prospects and easier lockdown rules as COVID-19 infections slowed down in the capital region.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 62.10 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,964.01 on a value turnover of P13.5 billion. Gainers beat losers, 120 to 81, with 49 issues unchanged.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported Thursday that unemployment rate in May declined to 7.7 percent from 8.7 percent in April, as 1.45 million jobs following the easing of community quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces.
Major noodles maker Monde Nissin Corp. advanced 2.9 percent to P17, while PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications firm, climbed 2.6 percent to P1,326.
Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei Group rose 3.6 percent to P55.65, while Aboitiz Power Corp. of the Aboitiz Group added 2.2 percent to P25.
The rest of Asian markets struggled Thursday despite another record close in New York, with investors keeping an eye on the rapidly spreading Delta virus variant, which has forced several governments to reimpose lockdowns and raised concerns about the pace of economic recovery.
The upcoming release of US jobs data is also in view, with a forecast-beating jump on private employment lifting hopes for a strong reading that will solidify optimism about growth in the world’s top economy.
While inflation is expected to continue surging over the next few months, worries that the Federal Reserve will tighten its ultra-loose monetary policy too soon or too quickly have eased, with bank officials saying they will be measured in their tapering.
Having fluctuated over the past three days, Asia equities were largely lower Thursday.
Tokyo slipped, with little reaction to the Bank of Japan’s Tankan business survey showing confidence among major manufacturers was at its highest level since 2018.
Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Mumbai fell but Wellington, Bangkok and Jakarta edged up. Hong Kong was closed for a holiday.
That came after the S&P 500 clocked up its fifth straight record, to end the first half of the year more than 14 percent higher.
US traders cheered data showing private firms added 692,000 jobs in June, a big drop from the month before but well above expectations. The report added to a recent run of figures showing strong consumer confidence, rising home prices and positive corporate earnings.
The main event this week comes Friday, with the release of government non-farm payrolls, which will provide a clearer snapshot of the economic progress and could play a role in Fed deliberations on monetary policy.
With an eye on this improving outlook, Dallas Fed chief Robert Kaplan said that while he hoped the winding down of its bond-buying scheme would begin “soon,” investors would be more prepared than they were in 2013, when a “taper tantrum” sent shivers through markets.
“I want it to get out into the market, and I think this debate we’re having at the (policy board), some of it publicly, is good,” he told Bloomberg TV. “People are on notice that these adjustments are coming, the only question is when.” With AFP