Market ends rally on profit taking

The stock market fell Tuesday to snap a four-day rally, with investors opting to take quick profits on issues that considerably gained in recent days.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 85.54 points, or 1.1 percent, to 7,702.12 on a value turnover of P6 billion Losers overwhelmed gainers, 118 to 69, with 44 issues unchanged. 

Conglomerate Ayala Corp. declined 2.8 percent to P970, while property unit Ayala Land Inc. slipped 2 percent to P43.90.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is into toll roads, electricity and water distribution, power generation and hospitals, lost 2.5 percent to P4.63, while SM Prime Holdings Inc., the property unit of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr., fell 2.3 percent to P38.05.

The rest of Asian markets mostly rose Tuesday with a little more optimism in the air than in recent weeks as China and the US hold trade talks and the Federal Reserve flags a more dovish stance.

Wall Street provided another positive lead, extending Friday’s surge, with Chinese monetary easing at the weekend adding to the buying sentiment.

Hong Kong, which jumped almost three percent over the previous two days, added 0.2 percent while Tokyo finished up 0.8 percent and Sydney added 0.7 percent.

Singapore added 0.4 percent while Wellington and Mumbai rose but Shanghai fell 0.3 percent, Seoul was off 0.6 percent and Taipei also slipped 0.3 percent.

Focus is now on Beijing, where Chinese and American officials were holding a second day of discussions aimed at resolving their almost year-old trade row.

While there is little expectation this week for a full agreement on the issue, which has seen the two sides exchange tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars, there are hopes they can make some headway.

News that top economic negotiator and Vice Premier Liu He was also attending the talks provided some extra support, after US President Donald Trump on Friday said he thought a deal could be done, a sentiment shared by his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“While we don’t expect a full resolution in trade tension between China and the US in the foreseeable future, small steps in progress are likely to be taken favorably by investors,” said Tai Hui, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at JP Morgan Asset Management.

“The latest positive signals from the Trump administration of prospects of reaching some form of agreement and Vice Premier Liu He attending the negotiations should continue to cheer the market in the near term.”

While the mood is somewhat happier than last month, analysts were a little worried by Samsung’s forecast of a near-30 percent drop in operating profit for the December quarter.

The South Korean behemoth cited “lackluster demand in the memory business and intensifying competition in the smartphone business,” fanning worries about the wider technology sector.

Its US rival Apple sent shudders through markets last week when it warned of a bigger-than-expected drop in revenues owing to falling Chinese demand and highlighting the impact of the trade war. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi
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