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Stocks post gains despite global growth concerns

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PSE BGC bells

THE MAIN INDEX extended gains on Thursday, bucking negative sentiment overseas as investors were concerned over a possible slowdown in global growth.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 0.77% or 60.45 points to close at 7,881.79 yesterday. The broader all-shares index likewise rose 0.76% or 36.89 points to 4,845.96.

“As global equities trade sideways because of concerns on the slowing of global growth, here at the PSE the main index continues to regain strength… We had another low-volume day today as the main index continues to climb with foreign inflows,” Eagle Equities Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail on Thursday.

Mr. Mangun, however, noted that the rally may be short-lived without the support of local investors.

The US Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which contains anecdotal information from business contacts throughout the Federal Reserve’s 12 districts, said manufacturers are becoming increasingly worried about Washington’s trade spat with China, as well as other factors that could dampen their growth prospects.

The Beige Book also noted concerns on the longest government shutdown in US history, as US President Donald J. Trump insists on Congress to fund his request for a $5-billion US-Mexico border wall.




The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development also cut forecasts for the global economy to 3.3% in 2019 and 3.4% in 2020, representing a 0.2 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point decrease, respectively.

With this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.52% or 133.17 points to 25,673.46. The S&P 500 index slumped 0.65% or 18.20 points to 2,771.45, while the Nasdaq Composite index shed 0.93% or 70.44 points to 7,505.92.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asian stocks edged higher in thin trading on Thursday as investors remained on the sidelines with the return of global growth concerns.

Back home, four sectoral indices ended in positive territory, led by financials which soared 2.63% or 45.59 points to 1,778.36. Holding firms firmed up 0.78% or 61.88 points to 7,910.64; industrials edged higher by 0.77% or 88.90 points to 11,636.30; while mining and oil added 0.17% or 13.98 points to 8,140.68.

In contrast, property dropped 0.5% or 20.22 points to 3,981.97, while services slipped 0.19% or 2.99 points to 1,551.23.

Turnover slimmed to P5.84 billion after some 2.13 billion issues switched hands, from Wednesday’s P6.01 billion.

Advancers beat decliners, 115 to 84, while 47 names ended flat.

Foreign investors remained buyers as they recorded net purchases of P565.24 million, higher than the previous session’s P272.89 million.

“The index inches closer to its significant resistance level at 7,900. Strong foreign flows along with high value turnover may assist the index to break through this tomorrow,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in a separate e-mail. — Arra B. Francia

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