The stock market jumped Tuesday as investors resumed their vaccine-fueled buying spree, though traders were kept in check by the specter of surging virus infections.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index surged 218.10 points, or 3.2 percent, to 7,009.56 on a value turnover of P10.9 billion. Gainers beat losers, 119 to 102, with 35 issues unchanged.
GT Capital Holdings Inc. of the Ty Group advanced 6.9 percent to P620, while International Container Terminal Services Inc., the biggest port operator and owned by tycoon Enriquez Razon Jr., climbed 6.2 percent to P124.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. of the Sy Group rose 5.6 percent to P38, while parent SM Investments Corp. increased 5 percent to P1,019.
The rest of Asian markets also rallied Tuesday. Equities fell across the world Monday after November’s blockbuster rally—the Dow in New York enjoyed its best month in almost 34 years—that came in response to better-than-expected results from several coronavirus drugs and hopes they will begin to be rolled out before the end of the year.
Analysts said the prospect that millions of people will start getting a jab within weeks will allow traders to bet on a strong recovery in the world economy next year.
News that a gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity had hit a 10-year high added to the upbeat mood.
“I feel pretty confident that portfolios should be positioned for continued good performance from equity markets as we head into 2021,” Chris Iggo, at AXA Investment Managers, said.
Shanghai led gains, surging 1.8 percent while Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Taipei, Jakarta and Bangkok also jumped more than one percent.
Hong Kong climbed 0.9 percent a day after dropping more than two percent as the city sees a new spike in infections that has forced leaders to reimpose containment measures, while Mumbai and Singapore also enjoyed gains.
“Flashing green lights at the end of the tunnel suggest investors should look through the immediate COVID-19 concerns and focus on the future, which seems incredibly bright and bullish,” said Axi’s Stephen Innes.
However, he added a note of caution that “one cannot be certain what the landscape will look like on the other side.”
The spread of the virus is causing most unease as the US suffers a huge surge in cases and President Donald Trump’s top infectious disease expert warns of a fresh wave within weeks after millions of Americans travelled over Thanksgiving.
And Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell warned: “The rise in new Covid-19 cases, both here and abroad, is concerning and could prove challenging for the next few months.”
He told the Senate Banking Committee: “A full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities.”
Powell has for months been urging US lawmakers to agree a new stimulus for the beleaguered economy and while some were making the right noises, there remains little movement in the right direction.
“The American people need more help now. Congress should deliver more COVID relief this year,” tweeted Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while his Democratic opposite Chuck Schumer said negotiating a new relief bill was a priority.
Both sides blame the other for the lack of a deal. With AFP