PH, other Southeast Asian markets recover


    Southeast Asian markets rose on Thursday, recovering from sharp declines in the previous session, after remarks from the United States and Iran soothed concerns of a larger Middle East conflict.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was up 61.40 points to 7,797.64, a 0.79 percent hike.

    The broader all shares index was up 17.25 points to 4,612.83, a 0.38 percent hike.

    Gainers edged losers 108 to 81 with 43 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P5.55 billion.

    The peso closed at 50.651 to the dollar, up from 50.756 on Wednesday. It opened at 50.65, hit a high of 50.525 and a low of 50.74. Trading turnover reached $1.58 billion.

    “Investors were relieved by the news that no Americans were harmed by the missile strike on US bases in Iraq. Oil even tumbled nearly 5 percent below $60, after Trump backed off from more direct confrontation with Iran,” said Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp.

    Limlingan said this led for US stocks to recover from overnight losses to post solid gains.

    Most actively traded Ayala Land Inc. was up P0.95 to P45. BDO Unibank Inc. was steady at P152. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was up P0.56 to P42. Ayala Corp. was up P4.50 to P794.50.

    PLDT Inc. was up P44 to P1,089. SM Investments Corp. was up P17 to P1,072. Manila Water Co. Inc. was up P0.32 to P10.44. International Container Terminal Services Inc. was up P2.20 to P134. Metro Pacific Investments Corp. was up P0.25 to P3.80.

    “As sentiment improves, market participants unwound safe-haven bets with broad relief sell-off in the bond universe,” Mizuho Bank analyst Zhu Huani said.

    Aiding sentiment, data showed China’s efforts to prop up its economy was yielding results as producer prices fell at a slower pace, showing signs of a modest recovery in industry activity and consumer price index in December remained unchanged from a month ago at 4.5 percent.

    Thai stock led gains in the region and was up as much as 1.1 percent.

    Indonesian and Singaporean equities also gained.

    Malaysian equities were lifted by financials.

    Vietnam stocks recovered from a more than six-month low hit in the previous session to climb up to 0.9 percent as most blue-chip names rallied. – Reuters