Stocks fall on profit taking; Globe and Converge down

Stocks retreated Friday on profit taking and lingering concerns on COVID-19 as investors opted to cash in on Thursday gains.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 55.58 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,912,85 on a value turnover of P15.2 billion. Losers beat gainers, 119 to 74, with 52 issues unchanged.

Globe Telecom Inc., the second-biggest mobile phone company, sank 6.2 percent to P3,000, while Jollibee Foods Corp., the largest fast-food chain, dropped 3.4 percent to P197.

Converge ICT Solutions Inc., a fiber internet service provider, declined 2.8 percent to P34.50, but Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. of the Aboitiz Group climbed 6.2 percent to P50.

Meanwhile, Asian markets mostly rose Friday as beleaguered investors trudged into the weekend after a painful few days, with confidence dealt a heavy blow by the Delta variant, Chinese regulatory crackdowns, disappointing economic data and brewing geopolitical tensions.

Hong Kong enjoyed a gain Friday, with casinos and tech seeing much-needed advances, while Shanghai, Seoul, Wellington, Mumbai and Jakarta were also up. However, Sydney, Singapore and Bangkok dipped.

Tokyo resumed its recent upward trend as the ruling party started a leadership election to determine Japan’s next prime minister, with hopes that the winner will push through a new massive stimulus package.

The gains came despite another tepid lead from Wall Street, which was pulled between better-than-expected US retail sales and an above-forecast reading on jobless claims.

Thursday’s readings were not enough to provide any insight into when the Federal Reserve might start winding down the ultra-loose monetary policy that has been key to a global economic and equity rally for more than a year.

The main focus for investors is now the bank’s policy meeting next week, where it could say how much and how long it will dial back on the vast bond-buying program.

“They’ll probably admit they’re going to taper, but maybe not taper as much as everybody thought,” markets strategist Louis Navellier said.

Eyes are also on the progress of Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and social spending plans, which are struggling through Congress. At the same time, lawmakers are still to agree on raising the debt ceiling—bring the possibility of a catastrophic US default into play.

That all comes against the backdrop of the highly transmissible Delta COVID mutation, which has sent infections around the world surging and forced several countries to reimpose lockdowns and other containment measures. With AFP

Among them is China, where a new outbreak has spooked traders just weeks after officials had appeared to have brought another under control. The new flare-up has led to concerns that the world’s number two economy and key driver of world growth, which was already stuttering, could suffer further.

And while September is considered by analysts to be the weakest month for investing, the past week has been particularly bad for Hong Kong, where tech firms fell on more regulatory oversight and Macau-based casinos were strafed by plans for a government crackdown. With AFP

Topics: stocks , COVID-19 , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Globe Telecom Inc.
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