Stocks declined Tuesday, weighed down by the government’s decision to keep Metro Manila under a general community quarantine until the end of October.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index slipped 19.79 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,841.60 on a value turnover of P5.7 billion. Losers beat gainers, 109 to 88, with 52 issues unchanged.
Alliance Global Group Inc. of tycoon Andrew Tan fell 2.1 percent to P6.90, while GT Capital Holdings Inc. of the Ty Group dropped 1.3 percent to P392.
Dito CME Holdings Corp., the third major telecommunications firm, however, jumped 11.1 percent to P4.99, while Jollibee Foods Corp., the biggest fast-food chain rose 4.1 percent to P144.80.
The rest of Asian equity markets were mixed Tuesday as investors struggled to extend a global rally as they weighed a fresh US stimulus proposal from the Democrats while looking ahead to the first presidential debate later in the day.
Bargain-buying and upbeat economic news from China provided support Monday but the ever-present specter of the coronavirus and the reimposition of containment measures in several countries were keeping optimism at bay.
A major hindrance to further upside is the lack of movement on Capitol Hill in stimulus talks, with both sides digging in and making the chances of a new package unlikely before the November 3 presidential election.
Democrats put forward their latest offer, a $2.2-trillion bill that is more than $1 trillion lower than their previous plan, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “provides the absolutely needed resources to protect lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy over the coming months.”
Pelosi’s spokesman said she had spoken to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday and would talk again in the morning.
However, with Republicans offering to go only as high as $1 trillion—and hostilities exacerbated by the row over a replacement for Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg—hopes for a breakthrough are thin, despite millions of Americans struggling to cope with the economic impact of the virus.
“We definitely need another round of stimulus here, not only for confidence for the American public and workers, but also for the markets,” Michelle Connell, at Portia Capital Management, told Bloomberg Television.
“Going into this election, that would definitely help. I’d expect the markets to be weak, volatile, and have some downside here as we’re waiting to find out who our next president is.”
Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei were all in positive territory along with Bangkok, though Hong Kong and Sydney were all lower.
Tuesday sees the first debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, which will be closely watched as the president comes under pressure after a report at the weekend said he had paid barely any federal income tax for years.
But while Biden continues to lead in polls, AxiCorp’s Stephen Innes said: “Prediction markets show that Joe Biden’s lead over Trump has narrowed from +24 in late July to +10-6, depending on which cohorts you follow.
“A more convincing showing by the incumbent could drive concerns around negative US foreign policy implications for China.” With AFP