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Market advances; Globe Telecom gains

The stock market rose Friday on select bargain hunting, taking its cue from the rest of Asia and with talks between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping adding to the positive mood heading into the weekend.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 46.49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,970.51 on a value turnover of P4.9 billion. Gainers beat losers, 100 to 90, with 54 issues unchanged.

Globe Telecom Inc., the second-biggest mobile phone company, climbed 2.6 percent to P2,862, while International Container Terminal Services Inc. of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., the largest port operator, advanced 2.2 percent to P190.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. of the Aboitiz Group gained 2.7 percent at P46, while AC Energy Corp.  of the Ayala Group was up 1.2 percent to P10.16.

Th rest of Asian markets bounced back Friday from the previous day’s losses.

Hong Kong led the advances thanks to healthy buying into tech firms that were battered Thursday by China’s latest clampdown on the gaming industry, but fears that authorities will crack the whip again continue to weigh on sentiment.

And while Wall Street ended in the red again, there was some cheer from the European Central Bank as it tweaked its monetary stimulus program, with boss Christine Lagarde saying the move was not a “tapering” but a “recalibration.”

But she did warn that “the speed of the recovery continues to depend on the course of the pandemic and progress with vaccinations.”

The move eased concerns about the end of the ultra-loose monetary policy that has been crucial to a recovery in economies and equities.

It also came as the Federal Reserve considers when it will start winding in its own scheme, with observers expecting it before the end of the year. 

Hong Kong was the standout market, surging 1.9 percent, boosted by tech giants Tencent, NetEase, Alibaba and after they suffered extensive losses Thursday in reaction to Chinese officials ordering gaming firms to stop focusing on profits.

Tokyo resumed its own rally on stimulus hopes, while there were also healthy gains in Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Jakarta.

The day had already started on a positive note before news trickled in that Biden and Xi had held their first talks by phone since February, soon after the US president was inaugurated.

In the 90-minute call, Biden urged that “competition” between the world’s top two economies did not become “conflict,” according to the White House, while Xi called for a new direction in a relationship beset by “serious difficulties.”

The call was “candid, in-depth,” according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.  

The talks come as relations between the two are at a low ebb after butting heads on a range of issues including trade, national security, human rights and technology.

OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley said reports that Xi had been making soothing comments towards ASEAN and Australia had also provided traders with some optimism.

“All of that is music to the ears of the Asia-Pacific,” he said in a commentary. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Joe Biden , Xi Jinping
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