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Stock market up; ICTSI, BDO lead gainers

The stock market rose Friday joining a global rally on optimism for corporate earnings after a strong start to the reporting season.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 30.35 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,213.46 on a value turnover of P10.6 billion. Gainers beat losers, 113 to 84, with 45 issues unchanged.

International Container Terminal Services Inc. of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., the biggest port operator, surged 5.8 percent to P178.90, while BDO Unibank Inc., the largest lender in terms of assets, advanced 3.1 percent to P132.

Semirara Mining and Power Corp., the biggest coal producer, gained 2 percent at P30.10, while PLDT Inc., the largest telecommunications firm, rose 1.8 percent to P1,656.

The rest of Asian markets extended a global rally Friday, while traders cheered better-than-expected data indicating the US recovery remains on track despite inflation concerns and the imminent end to cheap cash.

Central banks around the world are preparing to start—or in some cases have started—winding back the vast financial support put in place at the beginning of the pandemic, which has helped economies rebound and pushed equities to record or multi-year highs.

Soaring prices, supply chain snarls and a brewing energy crisis caused by the reopening from lockdowns have put increasing pressure on finance chiefs to act sooner than they had expected to prevent inflation from getting out of control.

And that has put a brake on a market rally that had lasted for a year and a half.

However, traders have refound some of their mojo this week as strong earnings from banking giants including JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup fuel hopes for a standout round of reports.

Meanwhile, US figures showing new applications for unemployment benefits fell below 300,000 last week for the first time since the pandemic started provided fresh evidence for the recovery narrative.

The S&P 500 on Wall Street had its best day since March, while the Dow and Nasdaq also saw big gains.

Asia followed suit, with Tokyo up 1.8 percent and Taipei more than two percent higher. Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul and Singapore also rose.

Hong Kong jumped 1.5 percent, having reopened after two days off, though Jakarta, Bangkok and Wellington dipped.

Investors are now awaiting the Federal Reserve’s next move as it plots an exit from its vast bond-buying monetary easing program, with next month or December seen as the beginning, while bets on an early-2022 interest rate hike are also building.

“We’re likely going to continue to see this elevated inflation and probably well into 2022,” Wealth Enhancement Group’s Nicole Webb said on Bloomberg Television, adding that she saw November as the likely beginning of tapering.

Her comments were echoed elsewhere, with analysts warning that inflation is not going to be a short-term issue, as many observers—as well as Fed officials—had suggested.

And markets analyst Louis Navellier added that broadly healthy jobs readings showed the Fed’s goal of taming unemployment had been achieved. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , International Container Terminal Services Inc. , Enrique Razon Jr.
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