PSEi up; peso skids

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    Share prices ended higher by 1.79 percent yesterday as investors look to a Sta. Claus rally this month.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was up by 138.23 points to close at 7,877.19.

    The broader all shares index was up 53.84 points to 4,686.68, a 1.16 percent hike.
    Losers edged gainers 104 to 86 with 49 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P5.31 billion.

    The peso, meanwhile, closed at P51.08 to the dollar, down from Friday’s close of P50.81. It opened at P50.85, hitting a high of P50.79 and a low of P51.08. Trading turnover reached $1 billion.

    “December got off to a positive start as investors optimistically waited for a solid trade deal to be signed. Aside from this, many are already looking forward to next year,” said Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp.

    “After slowing sharply for two years, global growth is expected to recover moderately in 2020,” he added.

    Most actively traded SM Prime Holdings. Inc. was up by P1 to P40. Fruitas Holdings Inc. was down by P0.29 to P1.42.

    Ayala Land Inc. was up by P1.50 to P47 while its banking arm, Bank of the Philippine Islands, was up by P0.45 to P86.40.

    SM Investments Corp. was up by P20 to P1,080. BDO Unibank Inc. was up by P6.20 to P158.

    Yesterday’s mood was echoed elsewhere in the region as most Southeast Asian stock markets started the week on the front foot, as upbeat manufacturing surveys from China – the region’s biggest trading partner – eased fears of an economic slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, boosting investor sentiment.

    “Better-than-expected pick-up in China’s manufacturing, crucially with a surprise recovery back into expansionary regions has triggered some optimism,” Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients.

    However, “with no imminent resolution to US-China trade discussions, and with just two weeks left to the mid-December tariff deadline, caution may be the flavor of the month,” the note added.

    The Indonesian index touched its highest in almost a week, helped by consumer and banking sectors.

    Lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) advanced 1.9 percent, while cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna gained over 3 percent.

    Data showed on Monday that the country’s annual inflation rate slowed for a third straight month in November, as expected.

    The Malaysian index marked its best session in two weeks, with Hong Leong Bank rising 0.9 percent and telecom co Axiata Group Bhd advancing 1.2 percent.

    Bucking the broader trend, Thai stocks dropped after data showed that the country’s headline consumer price index rose 0.21 percent in November from last year, but came in lower than expected.

    Lender Siam Commercial Bank was down 1.7 percent, while telco Advance Info Service dropped 2.4 percent. – with Reuters