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Market gains; PLDT,Vista Land rise

Stocks rose Friday in mixed trading, with select blue chips lifting the benchmark index toward the close.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 30.83 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,962.13 on a value turnover of P8 billion. Losers, however, beat gainers, 97 to 89, with 54 issues unchanged. 

PLDT Inc., the biggest telecommunications firm, advanced 3.1 percent to P1,113, while JG Summit Holdings Inc. of industrialist John Gokongwei also gained 3 percent  to P68.50.

Vista land & Lifescapes Inc. of the Villar Group rose 2.9 percent to P7.50, while San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc., the food unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corp., increased 5 percent to P104.

The rest of the Asian markets were mixed Friday following losses on Wall Street as optimism over the China-US trade talks was trumped by a weak round of US data that revived concerns about economic growth.

With high-level negotiations between the world’s top economies still taking place in Washington there has been little concrete news about their progress, though some reports have said the two are heading towards an eventual deal.

The lack of information on the crunch talks led dealers in New York to take their cue from figures showing home sales at a three-year low, while sales of durable goods missed expectations. All three main indexes on Wall Street ended lower.

The data, coupled with disappointing readings from the eurozone and Japan, reminded investors that while China and the US are showing signs of reaching a deal, the world economy continues to stutter.

“Trade talks remain on track, but with little details on what the next moves are as the March 1 deadline approaches, the market paid more attention to the lower-than-expected US data on Thursday,” said OANDA senior market analyst Alfonso Esparza.

The losses on Wall Street filtered through to Asia, where markets dropped in the morning before seeing some recoveries in the afternoon.

Tokyo was down 0.2 percent and Singapore shed 0.3 percent, though Hong Kong rose 0.3 percent in the afternoon and Shanghai rallied 1.9 percent on hopes for fresh stimulus by Chinese authorities.

Seoul and Wellington both edged up 0.1 percent and Taipei was flat. Mumbai, Jakarta and Bangkok were all lower.

And Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock, warned that the stellar gains seen so far this year were unlikely to continue for the next 10 months.

“Don’t chase the rally,” he told Bloomberg TV. “Don’t extrapolate the double-digit gains we’ve seen in the first six weeks of this year.”

On Thursday China’s Commerce Ministry said the two sides would “go a step further in deepening their communication” regarding the trade talks but despite Donald Trump’s tweets that things are going well, there is skepticism among observers.

“I think the consensus of people that have been following this thing is that they’re not making nearly as much progress as the president tweets that they’ve been making,” said William Reinsch, a former US trade official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

With the March 1 deadline approaching, China’s top negotiator and Xi Jinping’s top economics envoy Liu He is due to meet Trump on Friday. With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , PLDT , Vista Land
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