The stock market rose slightly Wednesday but profit taking on select issues capped the gains amid concerns over rising prices here and overseas.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 17.94 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,419.10 on a value turnover of P8.6 billion. Losers, however, edged gainers, 93 to 88, with 53 issues unchanged.
Alliance Global Group Inc. of tycoon Andrew Tan gained 2.6 percent at P12.08, while SM Prime Holdings Inc. of the Sy Group climbed 1.8 percent to P37.50.
Noodles maker Monde Nissin Corp., however, sank 5.1 percent to P18.02, while Synergy Grid & Development Phils. Inc., owner of the company that operates the country’s electricity grid, fell 4 percent to P14.86.
The rest of Asian equity markets, meanwhile, mostly rose Wednesday following a run of weakness but inflation worries and expectations of tighter central bank monetary policy continue to hold traders’ focus as crude extended gains despite US moves to boost output.
Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Wellington, Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta all rose but Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul and Taipei dipped.
Oil surged Tuesday in reaction to news that the United States and other countries would release less from their stockpiles than expected, dealing a blow to hopes of tempering a price spike that is causing inflation to run red hot.
The announcement from Washington, which President Joe Biden said was in conjunction with China, India, Japan, South Korea and Britain, had been flagged well in advance, which analysts said had been part of the reason for a dip in the crude market in recent weeks.
Brent surged more than three percent and WTI more than two percent Tuesday and the buying carried on in Asian trade, with concern now building that OPEC and other major producers will rethink their plan to slowly reopen the taps.
“The release, widely expected, is the proverbial drop in a bucket… and might just lead OPEC+ producers to scale back a bit on what they were planning to pump,” said National Australia Bank’s Ray Attrill.
However, OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley said that while OPEC “refused to be cowed” he did not “expect them to fly too close to the sun and reduce their planned 400,000 (barrels per day) increase next month.”
The rise in oil prices added to concerns that inflation—already at multi-year highs—will continue to rise, putting further pressure on banks to scale back the easy money policies put in place at the start of the pandemic and crucial to an 18-month market rally.
The New Zealand central bank on Wednesday lifted its rates for a second successive month.
But all eyes are on the Federal Reserve, which some observers have said could taper its bond-buying program quicker than first flagged and hike interest rates next year.
“For quite a while now that extra liquidity hasn’t been going into the economy, it has been going more into the markets,” Matt Maley, of Miller Tabak + Co, told Bloomberg Television.
“The Fed is going to start pulling back on that.” With AFP