The stock bounced back Thursday on profit raking with traders trying to claw back Omicron-induced losses the other day.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index surged 85.48 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,032.54 on a value turnover of P9 billion. Gainers beat losers, 111 to 78, with 50 issues unchanged.
AC Energy Corp., a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., jumped 6.3 percent to P11.44, while Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. of the Aboitiz Group advanced 3.7 percent to P50.30.
JG Summit Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei Group climbed 3.4 percent to P59, while International Container Terminal Services Inc., the biggest port operator owned by tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. rose 2.7 percent to P198.10.
The rest of Asian markets were mixed Thursday and oil edged up but traders were still full of uncertainty after Wall Street suffered a late plunge in response to the United States reporting its first case.
News that a patient had come down with the new variant sent shivers through US investors who fear authorities will be forced to reintroduce strict containment measures or even lockdowns, derailing the recovery in the world’s top economy.
That comes on top of a widespread belief the Federal Reserve will end its vast bond-buying financial support program quicker than expected and begin hiking interest rates next year to prevent inflation—now at a three-decade high—from running out of control.
Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore, Wellington and Bangkok all fell but Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Jakarta and Manila rose.
Traders were already feeling uneasy in recent weeks on concerns about the sharp rise in prices around the world caused by supply chain snarls, a spike in energy costs and a labour shortage.
The announcement of Omicron—and warnings that vaccines may not be as effective against it—sent them over the edge on Friday.
Experts say it will take weeks to fully understand the true danger of Omicron, though the World Health Organization said vaccines would probably fend off the worst of the variant while Australia’s chief medical officer suggested it might not be as deadly as others.
Still, markets are highly sensitive to any negative headlines on the crisis, with the VIX gauge of volatility at its highest level since the start of February.
“Equity markets continue to play Omicron tennis, and traders looking for short-term direction should just wait for the next virus headline and then act accordingly,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley. “Volatility, and not market direction, will be the winner this week.”
Meanwhile, the OECD grouping of major industrialized nations warned the mutated strain threatens the global recovery and cut its growth outlook for this year.
The disquiet on trading floors was evident in New York Wednesday when the announcement of the strain in the United States sent all three main indexes into the red, having spent most of the day in positive territory.
“The Omicron variant is the number one uncertainty facing the US economic outlook,” Kim Mundy of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said. With AFP