Stocks and the Philippine peso fell Tuesday after a long holiday period following the release of government data showing double-digit decline in exports and imports in February.
The PSE index, the 30-company benchmark of the Philippine Stock Exchange, shed 8 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 6,479.63 as four of the six subsectors declined. It was also down 1.32 percent since the start of this year’s trading.
The broader all-share index also went down by 6 points, or 0.20 percent, to settle at 3,479.86 on a value turnover of P5.37 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers, 106 to 61, while 63 issues were unchanged.
Four of the 10 most active stocks ended in the green, led by BDO Unibank Inc. which climbed 4.67 percent to P130.00 and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company which rose 1.30 percent to P58.30.
The peso retreated nearly 1 percent to close at 54.93 against the US dollar from 54.40 on April 5 before the Easter break.
Meanwhile, Asian and European markets mostly rose Tuesday after an Easter break that thinned trading volumes in the region, with focus now turning to the release of US inflation data later in the week.
The consumer and wholesale price reports due follow Friday figures that showed a continued healthy rise in jobs creation, reinforcing expectations of another Federal Reserve interest rate hike next month.
But the jobs report also soothed concerns that the world’s top economy was slowing too fast and could be on course for a recession, after last week’s sub-par manufacturing and services sector activity numbers.
However, analysts warned that the 236,000 jobs announced Friday could mark the last report to top 200,000 for some time and that it could turn negative within months.
“It does appear the US payrolls have seemingly steadied the ship after the market got a bit out-of-step with, or at least over-extrapolating, an imminent recession from the gloomy… data last week,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.
Wall Street provided a broadly positive lead, with all three main indexes recovering from early deep losses. The Dow and S&P 500 chalked up gains though the Nasdaq finished marginally lower.
Still, most of Asia enjoyed an upbeat day.
Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney rose more than one percent while there were also gains in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Mumbai, Wellington, Taipei and Bangkok, though Shanghai and Taipei dipped.
London, Paris and Frankfurt rallied in the morning as trade resumed post-Easter.
Data out of China showed consumer prices rose less than expected in March and factory costs dropped, suggesting there remains some weakness in the world’s second-largest economy even as it reopens after the lifting of Covid restrictions.
It does, however, provide the People’s Bank of China with room to unveil further growth-boosting measures.
The “economic recovery is on track but not strong enough to push up prices”, said Zhang Zhiwei at Pinpoint Asset Management. “This suggests the economy is still running below its potential. There is room for fiscal and monetary policies to boost growth further.”
Aside from the US inflation data, investors are also preparing themselves for the start of first-quarter earnings season, with banking titans JPMorgan and Citigroup among those reporting.
The announcements should provide an idea about how big an impact surging inflation and rising interest rates are having on firms’ bottom lines.
On currency markets, bets on another Fed rate hike have pushed the dollar higher against its peers in recent days and it has held on to most of those gains this week.
The yen was also weighed down by comments from new Bank of Japan boss Kazuo Ueda that a long-standing loose monetary policy remained “appropriate.”
“Japan is currently not in a situation where interest rates need to be significantly raised,” Ueda told reporters at his first press conference since taking over. With AFP