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Stocks up slightly; Bloomberry rises

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The stock market rose slightly Wednesday after a strong rally in the previous session, with select blue chips leading the gains.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index  increased 3.38 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 7,689.14 on a value turnover of P5.9 billion. Gainers beat losers, 108 to 97, with 43 issues unchanged.

Bloomberry Resorts Corp. advanced 6.3 percent to P11.50 after chairman and chief executive Enrique Razon Jr. said the company would start constructing an integrated resort and casino in Vertis North, Quezon City, its second in the country, by the middle of next year.

LT Group Inc. of tycoon Lucio Tan, which is into the airline, tobacco, banking, property development, liquor and sugar milling businesses, gained 2.2 percent to P20.45, while major property firm Ayala Land Inc. rose 1.5 percent to P40.90.

BDO Unibank Inc., the biggest lender in terms of assets, climbed 1.3 percent to P130.70 

The rest of Asian markets rose on Wednesday as investors look ahead to a Group of Seven summit, while reports that China-US trade talks were progressing well provided some support.

Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent, having risen for four straight days already, while Tokyo ended 0.4 percent higher. Shanghai was marginally higher.

Sydney climbed 0.5 percent after data showed Australia’s economy beat expectations in January-March by expanding at its fastest rate since the second quarter of last year. The Australian dollar rose 0.5 percent.

Wellington added 0.6 percent, while Taipei put on 0.9 percent.

The gains extend a broad rally across the region in recent days as optimism in the US economy, the world’s biggest, has helped temper geopolitical worries.

The Nasdaq hit another record in New York even as the lead from US traders was generally tepid, but eyes are now on the Quebec gathering of G7 leaders, with world trade high on the agenda after Donald Trump hit Canada, Mexico and the European Union with steel and aluminum tariffs.

The move was condemned by Washington’s allies, with Mexico on Tuesday announcing measures on a range of US goods from pork to bourbon, just as it holds trilateral talks on a long-standing deal with Canada and the US.

However, Bloomberg News reported that China had offered to ramp up purchases of various US goods during talks this week, while Washington would ease US buying restrictions on Chinese telecom-equipment giant ZTE.

“The president is expected to meet with his advisers on whether to move forward with this proposal or not. It has the ring of truth around it given the Chinese said the other day that all bets are off the table if the US imposes the tariffs,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.

“They’ve thus offered both the carrot and the stick.”

But while markets are positive, trading floors remain susceptible to bad news, warned Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA.

“Despite the absence of escalation in geopolitical risk, traders are all too knowing that we’re little more than a spark away from re-igniting a free-for-all, whether its EU political risk, trade wars or the more probable escalation in Middle East tensions,” he said. With AFP


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