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Stock market up slightly; ICTSI, Ayala Land advance

Stocks rose again Wednesday on optimism the economic recovery will not be dented by the extended lockdown period.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 36.68 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,949.39 on a value turnover of P5.9 billion. Gainers edged losers, 90 to 84, with 61 issues unchanged.

Major property developer Ayala Land Inc. of the Ayala Group gained 1 percent at P33.80, while International Container Terminal Services Inc. of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., the biggest port operator, advanced 3.6 percent to P186.50.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei Group climbed 1.3 percent to P64.95, but noodles maker Monde Nissin Corp. fell 2.7 percent to P17.20.

Meanwhile,  Asian markets mostly fell Wednesday as a tepid lead from Wall Street and worries about the impact of the Delta coronavirus variant on the global recovery tempered investor appetite, though hopes for more stimulus helped Tokyo extend its recent rally.

Profit-taking added to the caution with some of the wind appearing to have come out of buyers’ sails, having pushed valuations up for more than a week.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 ended above 30,000 for the first time since April as it continued the rally that started when Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday he will stand down, raising hopes his successor will introduce fresh economic stimulus.  

On Wednesday, one of the front-runners, Fumio Kishida, pledged to push for trillions of yen in investment if he takes the post.

Data showing growth in the second quarter was better than first thought added to the positive vibes in Japan. The Nikkei has risen around five percent since the news broke, putting it on course for a three-decade high.

Hong Kong reversed early gains, while there were also losses in Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Wellington, Mumbai, Bangkok, and Jakarta. Shanghai ended marginally down.

While the Nasdaq clocked up yet another record with a small gain, the S&P 500 and Dow ended with a whimper as they reopened after a long weekend, with analysts suggesting concerns about COVID and the end of government handouts were key reasons.

Traders are keeping a close eye on the fast-spreading Delta strain, which is sending infection rates spiking around the world and forcing some governments to reimpose containment measures or lockdowns, raising concerns about the economic recovery.

Still, observers say the general mood is positive for the future, with hopes that the US Federal Reserve will delay tapering its monetary policy until the end of the year lending support.

“Localized setbacks in combating the virus have the potential to contribute to market volatility and slow the economic rebound in selected countries,” Mark Haefele, at UBS Group AG, wrote in a note.

“But we continue to see broad progress in curbing the pandemic and returning to economic normality.”

Bitcoin continued to struggle, sitting at around $45,000 after seeing wild fluctuations on Tuesday as El Salvador became the first country to use it as legal tender.

The unit plunged by almost a fifth to as low as $43,000 after a technical issue hit the official digital wallet on vast consumer demand, though that was later resolved, while analysts said it was also hit by profit-taking. With AFP

Topics: economic recovery , stocks , Philippine Stock Exchange Index
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