Sept trade data, US polls lift PH shares

The stock market continued to make gains on Wednesday after the government released its latest trade figures and as observers await the outcome of a nail-biting US presidential election.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 2.03 percent or 128.49 points to close at its intraday high of 6,464.05 while the broader All Shares added 1.56 percent or 59.14 points to finish at 3,848.61.

Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Claire Alviar said the bourse took its cue from Wall Street’s advance overnight as investors wait to see if divisive Republican incumbent Donald Trump wins another four-year term or his Democratic challenger Joe Biden becomes the next White House occupant.

All three US markets — the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq — jumped by 2.06 percent, 1.78 percent and 1.85 percent, respectively.

Most Asian markets mirrored their American peers. Tokyo climbed by 1.72 percent, Shanghai improved by 0.19 percent, Seoul was up 0.6 percent, Singapore rose by 0.29 percent and Ho Chi Minh gained 0.47 percent.

Hong Kong slipped by 0.25 percent, Jakarta lost 0.94 percent and Bangkok declined by 0.33 percent.

“Investors are closely monitoring it (US elections), since whoever wins, it would have an impact on the global economy,” Alviar explained.

The growth in exports and the slowdown in imports in September also added to improved investor sentiment, she said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Wednesday that inbound shipments in the month contracted for the 17th straight month to $7.92 billion, 16.5 percent smaller than the $9.48 billion in September 2019.

Outbound shipments, meanwhile, expanded for the first time since March by 2.2 percent to $6.22 billion from $6.07 billion year-on-year.

According to Alviar, this may imply that domestic demand is gradually picking up again.

“The market stays above 6,200, given the lingering optimism and participation of investors, with an average value turnover of around P6 to 7 billion,” she said.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan also attributed Wednesday’s performance to anticipation of US poll results.

“[I]nvestors hoped a clear winner would emerge from the US presidential election and a delayed or contested result would be avoided,” Limlingan said.

Local sectors all ended in the green, with mining and oil leading at 2.71 percent.
Total volume turnover was at 2.34 billion shares, valued at P7.25 billion.

Winners outpaced losers, 135 to 73, while 46 securities were unchanged.

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