Market sustains gains; Jollibee, Semirara rise

Stocks rose for a third day, sending the benchmark index near a record high, ahead of the release of second-quarter gross domestic data and as tension in the Korean peninsula eased.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, gained 37 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 8,046.59 Wednesday.  It was the market’s highest finish since it settled at 8,071.47 on July 28, 2017 and the all-time high of 8,127.48 on April 10, 2015.

The broader all-share index also advanced 21 points, or 0.5 percent, to end at 4,751.09, on a value turnover of P12.7 billion.

Gainers outnumbered losers, 121 to 68, while 55 issues were unchanged.

Twelve of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by restaurant chain operator Jollibee Foods Corp. which climbed 6.2 percent to P239 and coal producer Semirara Mining and Power Corp. which went up 4.1 percent to P176.  Puregold Price Club Inc. rose 2 percent to P48.15.

Meanwhile, Asian equities were mixed Wednesday after an uninspiring US session that saw the dollar grind higher, with attention turning away from geopolitics and back to economic data. European equity-index futures suggested a higher open.

Markets are settling down after a tumultuous few days spurred by heightened tensions between the US and North Korea. South Korean shares climbed as traders returned from a holiday. The latest data showed American consumers splurged in July, dragging Treasuries lower and buoying the greenback. Gauges of volatility in Japan, Hong Kong and the US continued a retreat as calm returned to stock markets.

The revival in US retail sales bolsters prospects that growth will accelerate in the second half, the latest clue on the strength of the world’s largest economy ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting, due to be published on Wednesday. Policy makers have been flagging they may announce plans to reduce the central bank’s balance sheet in September and then potentially raise interest rates again this year.

In other economic news, Australian wage growth matched estimates in the second quarter, rising 0.5 percent from the previous three-month period and 1.9 percent from a year earlier. Wage growth has hovered at a record low in recent quarters as the economy adjusts to a post-mining boom environment.

Japan’s Topix index closed little changed. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.6 percent, reopening after a holiday. The Hang Seng Index added 0.6 percent in Hong Kong, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent. 

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.5 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index was Asia’s worst performer on Wednesday, falling as much as 1.1 percent, as banks and interest-rate sensitive stocks dropped. 

Futures on the S&P 500 Index advanced 0.1 percent as of 7:32 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.1 percent on Tuesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained five points, or less than 0.1 percent. Contracts on the Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.2 percent in early European trading.

Gold lost less than 0.1 percent to $1,270.70 an ounce after declining 0.8 percent the previous session. West Texas Intermediate added 0.4 percent to $47.73 a barrel. It has declined almost 5 percent this month. With Bloomberg, AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange , Philippine Stock Exchange index , PSE , PSEi , Jollibee Foods Corp. , Semirara Mining and Power Corp.
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