July 23, 2018, 2:09 am
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PSEi up 1.75%

Most Southeast Asian markets edged higher on Monday, in tandem with Wall Street which gained on Friday on healthy corporate earnings and after data showed job growth in the world’s largest economy accelerated in October.

Among regional markets, the Philippine stock index jumped 1.75 percent with financials accounting for majority of the gains.

SM Investments Corporation was up 1.5 percent, while real estate stock Ayala Land rose 1.3 percent.

The Philippine Stocks Exchange index (PSEi) gained 146.94 points to close at 8,523.07.

Gainers edged losers 105 to 95 with 41 stocks unchanged.  Trading turnover reached P7.29 billion. 

“Philippine stocks bounced back from the slump after U.S. stocks closed at records on Friday,” said Luis Limlinang, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp.

“European stocks advanced, widening their second consecutive weekly gain, as food and beverage companies rebounded after two weeks of losses, offsetting a slump in telecom firms,” he added.

Broker Unicapital Securities Inc., said after peaking at 8605.15, the PSEi is expected to  consolidate between 8300 and 8600. 

“As long as we are above 8200, we will remain bullish in the short term,” it said.

Wall Street was boosted by Apple Inc’s shares that hit a record high, as stores opened doors to eager customers of the new iPhone X. The company forecast better-than-expected sales for the holiday shopping season in its fourth quarterly results out Friday. 

The US labor department on Friday said that job growth accelerated in October, but wages grew at their slowest annual pace in more than 1-1/2 years in a sign that inflation probably will continue to undershoot the Federal Reserve’s 2-percent target.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s visit to Asia will have an impact on investor sentiment. On his second day in Japan, Trump ramped up his tough rhetoric against North Korea, saying the United States and its allies are prepared to defend freedom.

Indonesian stocks climbed 0.1 percent with industrial and financial stocks leading gains.

The country’s third-quarter gross domestic product grew at 5.06 percent, slightly slower than expected. A Reuters poll had forecast GDP growth at 5.13 percent.

Malaysian stocks rose 0.1 percent, snapping four straight losing sessions, with industrial stock MISC Bhd recording its biggest intraday gain in more than 4 years after posting an over 5 times jump in its third quarter profit on Friday.

On the other hand, Singapore shares dropped 0.2 percent, dragged down by financials. DBS Group shed as much as 1.6 percent after reporting dismal third-quarter results.

The city-state’s biggest lender saw three-quarter profits sliding to a five year low, as it nearly doubled provisions for loans to the troubled oil and gas industry.  –  Reuters with Ruelle Albert Castro
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