The stock market rose slightly Tuesday but some investors went into a consolidation mode in anticipation of a Christmas rally toward the end of the year.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 16.56 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,147.30 on a value turnover of P7.9 billion. Losers, however, overwhelmed gainers, 137 to 63, with 36 issues unchanged.
Globe Telecom Inc., the second-biggest mobile phone, player climbed 4.6 percent to P3,390, while SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group advanced 2.6 percent to P959.50.
Medilines Distribution Inc., a medical equipment supplier, however, sank 30 percent to P1.61 in its market debut, while AC Energy Corp., a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., fell 4.6 percent to P10.50.
The rest of Asian stocks were higher on Tuesday as investors took heart from strong rebounds on Wall Street on hopes that the newest coronavirus variant will prove less dangerous than previously feared.
The Omicron variant has been detected across the globe but no deaths have yet been reported, with authorities worldwide racing to determine how contagious it is and how effective existing vaccines are.
Top US pandemic adviser Anthony Fauci said over the weekend that while more information was needed, preliminary data on the variant’s severity was “a bit encouraging.”
“That was all markets needed to hear really and equity markets in Europe and the US followed Asia’s lead and piled back in,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
“Unsurprisingly, travel and leisure led the way while technology only rose modestly.”
Sentiment was also buoyed by moves from China’s central bank to limit the economic fallout from debt crises in the country’s property sector.
Singapore, Jakarta, Wellington and Seoul were all slightly up, as was Manila. Bangkok was up by more than one percent.
On Monday, European and US equities had rebounded on the Omicron news.
Wall Street also had a strong day, with the Dow up 1.9 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 2.72 percent at the close, while Shanghai was only slightly up.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was a strong performer, up by more than 12 percent when Hong Kong trading ended.
Bargain-hunters moved in on the company’s shares—recently pummeled by Beijing’s crackdown on big tech—after the virus news and central bank announcement.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up by 1.89 percent at the close.
“Share buying surged as excessive fears about the Omicron variant have eased,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.
“The economic data looks very good,” Sylvia Jablonski, Defiance ETFs chief investment officer and co-founder, told Bloomberg Television, noting that even long-term worries about the US Federal Reserve ending its ultra-loose monetary policy were not weighing on sentiment for the time being.
“We don’t need the same sort of monetary stimulus that we had before so maybe the tapering isn’t so bad–-we don’t expect it to be too out of control or too quick so there is some good news for buying on the dip,” she said. With AFP