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Business

Stocks eke out gains amid slowdown fears

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
Stocks eke out gains amid slowdown fears
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index finished at 6,597.76, up 20.31 points or 0.31 percent while the broader All Shares index rose by 3.64 points or 0.10 percent to 3,554.04.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Local stocks eked out gains yesterday along with other Asian emerging markets to partially offset some losses posted earlier in the week even as slowdown worries persist, with central banks across the world facing pressure to pursue aggressive rate hikes to contain inflation.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished at 6,597.76, up 20.31 points or 0.31 percent while the broader All Shares index rose by 3.64 points or 0.10 percent to 3,554.04.

Total value turnover reached P6 billion. Market breadth, however, was negative with 107 losers to 76 gainers, as 57 issues were unchanged.

“Philippine shares rebounded as foreign investors stayed away from dropping tech names for bonds on fears of global economic slowdown,” said Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital.

“The local market traded mostly sideways as investors remain risk averse due to global economic headwinds,” said AB Capital Securities in a commentary, adding that the PSEi was still below its immediate support level of 6,600.

Overnight, Wall Street reeled from weak housing and manufacturing data, while US central bankers backed two more big interest rate hikes as early as June and July to fight 40-year-high inflation.

Investors in Asia remain similarly nervous about growth being impacted by the effects of persistent Chinese COVID-19 lockdowns, which threaten to undermine recent stimulus measures in the world’s second-largest economy.

“In Asia, investor debate centers on whether or not China’s easing policies are sufficient to offset downward pressures,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a note.

Investors are likewise on edge about the impact of interest rate hikes in the US and other Western economies to cool surging inflation, as well as Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic warned headlong rate hikes could create “significant economic dislocation” and was among a handful of Fed policymakers who favor reducing the pace of rate hikes later in the year if inflation cools.

“The overall mood in equity markets remains largely downbeat,” Jun Rong Yeap of IG said in a report.

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