Stocks surged Tuesday on reports daily COVID-19 cases in the Philippines may have reached their peak, fanning hopes of less restrictive mobility restrictions, especially in the capital region.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 120.13 points, or 1.7 percent, to 7,343.96 on a value turnover of P4.9 billion. Gainers beat losers, 100 to 85, with 56 issues unchanged.
BDO Unibank Inc. of the Sy Group, the largest lender in terms of assets, rose 2.2 percent to P130, while sister unit SM Prime Holdings Inc. climbed 2 percent to P34.85.
International Container Terminal Services Inc., the biggest port operator and owned by tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., advanced 4.1 percent to P211.40, but noodles maker Monde Nissin Corp. fell 3.1 percent to P16.70.
Meanwhile, crude oil hit a more than seven-year high Tuesday on optimism the global recovery will ramp up demand, but concerns about the end of long-running central bank support and rising Treasury yields saw most equity markets reverse early gains.
After an almost uninterrupted rally from the early days of the pandemic, world markets are showing signs of leveling out as global finance chiefs shift from economy-boosting largesse to measures aimed at reining in inflation.
Still, there is an expectation that equities will enjoy further gains this year as countries reopen and people grow more confident about travel, especially as studies suggest the more prevalent Omicron coronavirus variant appears to be milder and as vaccines are rolled out.
Analysts are also watching the corporate earnings season that is under way, with hopes that firms can match their stellar performances last year.
But while Asian markets started the day brightly after Monday’s travails, traders returned to selling, with US Treasury yields surging on expectations the Federal Reserve will have to unveil several interest rate hikes to tackle a worrying spike in inflation. Wall Street was closed Monday.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta all fell.
There were gains in Shanghai on hopes of fresh economy-boosting measures, while Wellington also edged up.
But oil built on its early promise, with Brent climbing to $88.13 a barrel and WTI hitting $85.74, both levels not seen since October 2014.
The gains came thanks to demand optimism as the world reopens and concerns about Omicron ease. The loosening of travel restrictions in several countries has seen jet fuel costs soar.
Hopes for more monetary easing by major consumer China to reinforce its stuttering economy were also seen as a key support for the oil market.
Another factor in the latest bump was the claim of an attack by Yemen’s Huthi rebels in Abu Dhabi that triggered a fuel tank blast killing three people Monday, with the group warning civilians and foreign firms in the United Arab Emirates to avoid “vital installations.”
The news fueled concerns about supplies from the crude-rich region.
“The suspected drone attack in Abu Dhabi underscores the ongoing threat against civilian and energy infrastructure in the region amid heightened regional tensions,” said Torbjorn Soltvedt at risk intelligence company Verisk Maplecroft. With AFP