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Stock market tops 7,000; Globe, Semirara advance

The stock market surged Wednesday, with the benchmark index going above the 7,000-point mark as the daily COVID-19 cases in the country fell below 10,000.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index advanced 76.21 points, or 1.1 percent, to 7,057.45 on a value turnover of P9.5 billion. Gainers beat losers,113 to 92, with 41 issues unchanged.

Globe Telecom Inc., the second-biggest mobile phone company, climbed 9.5 percent to P3,410, while construction materials retailer Wilcon Depot Inc. jumped 8.1 percent P31.35.

Semirara Mining and Power Corp., the biggest coal miner, rose 5 percent to P25, while Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc of the Gokongwei Group also advanced 5 percent to P61.10.

Asian markets, meanwhile, fell Wednesday as a strong lead from Wall Street was overshadowed by ongoing worries about rising inflation and tighter monetary policy, a possible US debt default and the Delta coronavirus variant.

The rally enjoyed across equities for more than a year has met a roadblock in recent months as supply chain problems and a surge in energy prices caused by a recovery in demand has led to a sustained spike in inflation.

That has put increasing pressure on central banks around the world to wind in the ultra-loose monetary policies put in place last year to battle the impact of the pandemic, which have been key to the rebound in the global economy as well as markets.

And investors are not happy, with some now warning that continuously high prices combined with signs that global growth is slowing could lead to a period of stagflation.

Wall Street’s three main indexes rallied Tuesday, the day after a painful rout, but Asia was unable to follow suit.

Tokyo fell for an eighth straight session, while Hong Kong, Seoul, Sydney, Wellington, Mumbai, Bangkok and Taipei were also well in the red.

But Singapore and Jakarta posted gains. Shanghai remained closed until Friday for a holiday.

The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to soon announce it will begin cutting back its massive bond-buying program, with interest rates possibly rising as soon as next year.

Other central banks have also hinted at moves soon or have already acted.

On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced a first rate rise in seven years, joining the banks of South Korea and Norway.

A healthy study showing a forecast-beating improvement in the US services sector in September added to the argument for the Fed to act.

“The survey revealed business activity and new orders continued to rise at a solid pace in September, pointing to the US economy’s solid resilience notwithstanding the Delta COVID wave and supporting the view the Fed will likely announce a... tapering plan at its next meeting early in November,” said National Australia Bank’s Rodrigo Catril.

There were warnings of more fluctuations to come.

“For the last five or six months we’ve entered a period of kind of a mini-cycle in the US where you’ve got a changing Fed regime, and we are at the extended end of a recovery,” Kieran Calder, of Union Bancaire Privee, told Bloomberg Television. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , PSEi , global stock market , Globe Telecom Inc. , Semirara Mining and Power Corp.
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