Stocks rise for 4th straight day; Ayala issues advance

Stocks climbed for the fourth straight day Friday, buoyed by reports of declining COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila and gains in Wall Street overnight.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 36.25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,951.53 on a value turnover of P8.9 billion. Gainers beat losers, 103 to 79, with 67 issues unchanged.

AC Energy Corp. of the Ayala Group gained 4.6 percent at P11.70, while sister unit AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. advanced 4.2 percent to P5.68.

Fiber broadband provider  Converge  ICT Solutions Inc. rose 4.3 percent to P36.50, while BDO Unibank Inc., the biggest lender in terms of assets, increased 2.1 percent to P113.30.

The rest of Asian markets struggled Friday, with Hong Kong and Shanghai tumbling as property giant Evergrande’s silence over a bond payment fueled uncertainty among investors concerned that its potential collapse could spill over into the broader economy.

After a healthy start to the day, investors in Hong Kong and Shanghai dropped out as the weekend approached. Evergrande fell more than 11 percent in Hong Kong, having surged more than 17 percent Thursday.

“The nascent recovery in China markets remains at the mercy of their being no new negative Evergrande headlines,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley.

There were also losses in Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Wellington and Jakarta but Tokyo led gains, surging more than two percent, while Taipei also advanced.

Mumbai chalked up a record high, breaking the 60,000 barrier for the first time—the Sensex has more than doubled from its April 2020 low.

Investors were unable to track a surge on Wall Street that followed news the Federal Reserve planned to start tapering its vast monetary easing program within months, which observers took as a signal of confidence that the world’s top economy is well on the right track.

A more hawkish tilt by the British and Norwegian central banks hinted at a similar outlook.

Traders are keeping close tabs on the battered real estate firm, with no sign that it had paid interest to overseas bondholders on a note due Thursday. While the firm has a 30-day grace period to stump up before it is considered in default, the lack of information is keeping investors anxious.

Markets were sent spinning at the start of the week by fears that the company—one of China’s biggest developers in the crucial property sector—would go under and drag others with it, in turn jolting the domestic economy and possibly beyond. With AFP

An announcement that it had agreed a plan to pay up on a local bond payment soothed panicked investors, while they have also taken solace in expectations that Beijing will not let the firm completely go to the wall, instead stepping in to restructure it.

Regulators on Thursday urged the firm—which is more than $300 billion in debt—to do whatever was necessary to avoid a near-term default on its offshore bonds, concentrate on finishing building projects and repay individual investors.

Meanwhile, reports said its electric car unit failed to pay some staff or several equipment suppliers.

There has been no definitive comment from China’s leaders on how they intend to deal with the crisis, adding to the uncertainty. With AFP

Topics: Stocks , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , COVID-19 , Wall Street
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