The stock market plunged again Friday after heavy losses on US trading floors with inflation continuing to soar and central bankers getting increasingly hawkish in their attempts to bring prices under control.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index tumbled 193.18 points, or 3.3 percent, to 5,741.07 on a value turnover of nearly P6.7 billion. Losers routed gainers, 154 to 51, with 37 issues unchanged.
International Container Terminal Services Inc. of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., the biggest port operator, sank 10.2 percent to P156.60, while Manila Electric Co., the largest retailer of electricity, slumped 8.9 percent to P263.
Fiber broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. dropped 7.5 percent to P13.10, while SM Prime Holdings Inc of the Sy Group fell 5.6 percent to P30.10
The rest of markets in Asia and Europe were mixed Friday after another tough day on US trading floors.
Sterling, however, managed to extend gains after clawing back more of the huge losses suffered at the start of the week owing to a tax-cutting mini-budget that analysts warned could cause even more pain to the already fragile UK economy.
All three main indexes on Wall Street finished deep in the red, with the S&P 500 ending at its lowest level since November 2020.
On Friday, Shanghai dropped as data showed China’s manufacturing and services sectors struggled again in September from COVID lockdowns in parts of the country that have battered the world’s number-two economy.
There was also little reaction to news that Beijing would allow some cities to reduce mortgage rates for first-home purchases as it tries to support the property market.
Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Taipei, and Wellington were also off.
However, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Jakarta, and Bangkok rose, while London, Paris, and Frankfurt also rebounded from Thursday’s losses.
The pound’s bounce—from a record low of $1.0350 Monday to briefly go above $1.12 Friday—came after the Bank of England pledged $71 billion of support to shattered financial markets, fearing that several pension funds could go under.
Britain’s beleaguered currency was given an extra boost by news Thursday that the budget watchdog will provide costings of new Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng’s fiscal plan on October 7, two weeks earlier than initially announced.
“This has helped alleviate some fears within markets given the initial optics of an uncosted large fiscal package,” said National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland.
Markets remain concerned about the UK economy and the impact that borrowing tens of billions of dollars will have on interest rates, with observers warning that the Bank of England could announce a 1.5-percentage point hike at its next meeting in November.
Sean Callow, at Westpac Banking Corp, said the pound’s gains this week were “a reminder that currencies are driven by a myriad of factors—it’s clearly not due to any improvement in the outlook for the UK.”
The bank’s cash injection meant it had to put on hold its plan to tighten monetary policy as part of a global effort to fight decades-high inflation. With AFP