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Stock market climbs to end 4-day slump

The stock market rose slightly Monday on bargain hunting to end a four-day losing streak amid worries about fresh global virus spikes and the reimposition of economically damaging containment measures.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index added 22.73 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,861.39 on a value turnover of P5.1 billion. Losers, however, beat gainers, 113 to 88, with 38 issues unchanged.

NOW Corp., owned by the Velarde family and the country’s fourth major mobile phone operator, advanced 9.2 percent to P3.20, while Dito CME Holdings Corp., the third telecommunications player, climbed 6.9 percent to P4.49.

Manila Water Co. Inc., which operates the water concession in the eastern part of Metro Manila, however, fell 2.6 percent to P14.50, while sister unit Ayala Land Inc. declined 1.5 percent to P29.80.

The rest of Asian stocks rose Monday, tracking a healthy lead from Wall Street as bargain-buyers moved in following a recent sell-off.

Traders are also awaiting the first US presidential debate this week, which could prove crucial in determining November’s election, with many worried that a close vote might mean the result is delayed or even challenged by the loser.

Tech firms led strong gains in New York as a new surge in infections forces governments—particularly in Europe—to put new stay-at-home orders in place, leading investors to bet people will use their computers more.

Asian markets were mostly in positive territory. Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Bangkok and Taipei were all one percent higher, while Singapore put on 0.4 percent and Wellington was flat.

Hong Kong also rallied, though China’s biggest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. tumbled five percent on weekend reports that the US has placed export controls on it, marking the latest salvo in the battle for tech dominance between the superpowers. 

Real estate giant China Evergrande surged 18 percent after it made a statement Friday seeking to reassure investors that its operations were “stable and healthy.”

The firm tanked nearly 10 percent last week following reports claiming it was seeking government help to avoid a cash crunch.

Shanghai and Sydney both dipped, however.

And as the death toll from the disease topped one million, the World Health Organization warned that figure could double without more global collective action. 

However, while many leaders are unveiling fresh fiscal measures to support their economies, US lawmakers remain at loggerheads over a second rescue package, with Democrats and Republicans miles apart on their proposals. 

“The doomy mood music’s soundboard remains tuned to growing concerns about rising Covid-19 case counts and whether policymakers have ammunition to react,” said AxiCorp’s Stephen Innes.

“In the US, this has centered on whether further fiscal stimulus might be forthcoming before the election.”

Jeffrey Halley of OANDA added: “The potential for a breakthrough that allows both sides to claim credit ahead of the election is still possible. A breakthrough should be strongly positive for markets.” With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , NOW Corp. , Manila Water Co. Inc.
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