Stocks surge as index tops 6,000

The stock market surged Monday on the possible easing of quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila by next month as COVID-19 cases plateaued in the past few days.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped 120.79 points, or 2 percent, to 6,019.26 on a value turnover of P5.4 billion. Gainers overwhelmed losers, 125 to 76, with 46 issues unchanged.

GT Capital Holdings Inc. of the Ty Group rose 5.6 percent to P409, while Jollibee Foods Corp., the biggest fast-food chain, climbed 5.2 percent to P154.60.

Speculative issues PXP Energy Corp. soared 50 percent to P11.58, while Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. jumped 34 percent to P14.88 after the government lifted the moratorium on oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

Most Asian markets also rose Monday on lingering hopes for a new US stimulus package, though Shanghai turned lower after data showed China’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected.

Tokyo rose more than one percent, wiping out all its losses for the year, while Taipei also put on more than one percent. Sydney and Mumbai climbed 0.9 percent each, while Seoul, Singapore and Jakarta were also well up.

Hong Kong gained 0.9 percent but the gains shallowed after China released figures showing the world’s number two economy expanded at a slower rate than expected in July-September. Shanghai finished lower, along with Wellington.

The 4.9 percent rate was short of the 5.2-percent tipped by analysts in an AFP poll, though it was a big improvement on the previous quarter, while September saw a big increase in retail sales that suggests consumers are growing more confident as the virus subsides in China.

With a little over two weeks until the November 3 elections, time is running out for US lawmakers to reach an agreement on much-needed coronavirus support but talks remain bogged down.

At the weekend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a Tuesday deadline for a pact to be hammered out, while Donald Trump urged his Republican party to offer more than the $1.8 trillion they have put forward, adding that he would be willing to go higher than the Democrats’ $2.2-trillion proposal.

The president said Sunday he wanted “a bigger number” than Pelosi: “That doesn’t mean all the Republicans agree with me but I think they will in the end.”

That came a day after he said he “could quickly convince” his party to back a “good” deal.

“If you said a trillion-eight, if you said two trillion, if you said two trillion-two—many numbers—I’m willing to go higher than that,” he told a Milwaukee-based TV station.

“I will take care of that problem in two minutes.”

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held talks over the weekend and plan to hold more on Monday.

Analysts said, however, that expectations are high that even if nothing is agreed before the vote, lawmakers will eventually pass a new rescue bill.

“It seems that the market is optimistic that indeed stimulus will follow whether that is tax cuts under a Trump presidency or spending under a (Joe) Biden presidency,” Ben Emons, at Medley Global  Advisors, told Bloomberg TV. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Market , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , global stock market
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