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PH, Asian stocks gain; AC Energy, Dito climb

The stock market extended its rally Tuesday along with the rest of Asia as investors got back in the saddle following last week’s global rout, with sentiment buoyed by US stimulus hopes.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 53.12 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,867.88 on a value turnover of P10.6 billion. Gainers overwhelmed losers, 157 to 68, with 43 issues unchanged.

AC Energy Corp., a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., jumped 13.8 percent to P7.60, while Dito CME Holdings Corp., the third major mobile phone company, advanced 9.3 percent to P13.66.

Security Bank Corp., the seventh largest lender in terms of assets, climbed 3.5 percent to P133, but Abacore Capital Holdings Inc. slumped 11.8 percent to P1.19.

The rest of Asian equity markets rose again Tuesday, extending the previous day’s rally.

Concerns about the social media-led retail investor battle with Wall Street hedge funds also appeared to be easing, with analysts saying the threat to broader markets would likely be limited.

However, while the mood was a lot lighter than last week, the ever-present shadow of the coronavirus, along with stuttering vaccine rollouts, continues to keep gains in check.

Joe Biden on Monday held a meeting with a group of Republican lawmakers to discuss their stimulus counter-proposal as the new president looks to push through a bipartisan deal.

The $600-billion plan backed by Republicans is less than a third of the one put forward by the White House, and includes smaller handouts and no provision for state and local governments—two issues that Democrats are likely to reject.

The talks ended with no agreement but Republican Senator Susan Collins described them as “frank and very useful.”

She added: “I wouldn’t say that we came together on a package tonight. No one expected that in a two-hour meeting.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added that “while there were areas of agreement” between the two sides, Biden “also reiterated his view that Congress must respond boldly and urgently, and noted many areas which the Republican senators’ proposal does not address.”

Still, Democratic leaders said they would look to pass the president’s plan without Republican votes.

The two sides agreed to keep talks going behind the scenes.

News of progress helped support US markets, which were a sea of red last week.

All three main indexes ended up, and Asia continued Monday’s impressive performance.

Hong Kong, Sydney and Seoul jumped more than one percent, while Mumbai and Taipei put on more than two percent. Tokyo gained one percent, while there were also healthy advances in Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok. Jakarta and Wellington both dropped.

Traders remain concerned that prices are still too elevated after a months-long rally, while immunization drives and spiking cases of new coronavirus variants were also a worry.

“The excitement of vaccine development has been replaced by the reality of production, distribution logistics and questions on effectiveness,” said Tai Hui, at JP Morgan Asset Management.

“The US and the UK are making steady progress in inoculating their populations. However, there is some confusion surrounding the availability of vaccines and distribution in Europe, which is worrying investors and dimming the prospects of quick economic recovery.” With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Market , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , Asian stock market , global stock market , AC Energy Corp. , Dito CME Holdings Corp.
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