Market rallies; Ayala Land jumps

The stock market rebounded Friday on bargain-hunting, lifted by the decision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to cut interest rates Thursday by 50 basis points.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 155.34 points, or 3.4 percent, to 4,778.6 on a value turnover of P6.7 billion. Gainers beat losers, 117 to 85, with 30 issues unchanged.

Major property developer Ayala Land Inc. jumped 14.6 percent to P26.30, while BDO Unibank Inc., the biggest lender in terms of assets, advanced 14.1 percent to P97.

Jollibee Foods Corp., the largest fast-food chain, climbed 9.8 percent to P100, while LT Group Inc. of tobacco and airline tycoon Lucio Tan rose 9.6 percent to P6.03.

The rest of Asian equities, meanwhile, enjoyed some much-needed gains Friday after another volatile week on global markets as investors took solace in a blockbuster series of government and central bank measures aimed at cushioning the economic blow from the coronavirus.

The dollar also eased somewhat after a lengthy rally fueled by traders cashing out of their investments, while the embattled oil market extended Thursday’s gains.

With the deadly pandemic showing no sign of ending, countries are going into lockdown, effectively shutting down the global economy and leaving experts in the dark as to how deep and long an expected recession will last.

On Thursday, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented a $1-trillion emergency relief package to combat the turmoil, with $1,200 cash handouts for individuals.

It also includes $208 billion in loans for companies hit by the crisis—$58 billion of it for the troubled airline sector—and $300 billion in small business loans.

The plan is the latest in a series of measures put forward by Washington and comes on top of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts and pledges worth hundreds of billions of dollars to provide liquidity to creaking financial markets.

It also comes in tandem with similar moves by governments and banks around the world, which have provided some support to investors, but which many observers warn could still be too little as the crisis rumbles on.

Hong Kong stocks rose 2.9 percent in the afternoon, while Shanghai was up 0.3 percent, Sydney added one percent and Seoul jumped more than five percent.

Taipei gained more than six percent, and Bangkok jumped 2.6 percent with Mumbai more than one percent higher. Wellington jumped one percent, while there were also gains in Singapore.

Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

“For now... the artillery barrage from the world’s central banks and government treasuries seems to have stopped the rot sweeping the global economy for now,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley.

The advances followed a positive lead from Wall Street and Europe.

But, while healthy, the advances come at the end of another tumultuous week for equities and there are warnings of further troubles down the line.

Many analysts expect markets to remain highly volatile and under pressure until health authorities get a better grasp of the scale of the outbreak in the United States and Europe and how long it will curtail activity. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippines Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippines Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , Ayala Land , coronavirus disease 2019 , COVID-19 ,
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