PH, Asian shares rise after ECB move


Posted at Sep 07 2012 06:05 PM | Updated as of Sep 08 2012 06:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index rose on Friday, after the European Central Bank laid out its new unlimited bond-buying plan and China boosted stimulus measures.

The index was up almost 1% to close at 5,201.32. The biggest gainers were the blue chips, benefitting from the positive sentiment. 

Alliance Global Group gained 2.29% to P12.50 while Universal Robina rose 3.54% to P64.30.

Metrobank's shares were up almost 1%, closing at P92.65 each. 

At the foreign exchange market, the peso closed 19 centavos stronger at 41.68 to the dollar.

Asian markets sharply higher 

Asian markets surged and the euro broke the 100 yen barrier Friday after the European Central Bank unveiled a plan to buy troubled eurozone nations' bonds in a bid to tackle the region's debt crisis.

The bullish sentiment fuelled by ECB chief Mario Draghi's announcement was increased by US data showing many more jobs than expected were created in the private sector last month, lifting hopes for the world's number one economy.

Tokyo surged 2.20 percent, or 191.08 points, to 8,871.65, Seoul climbed 2.57 percent, or 48.34 points, to 1,929.58 and Sydney rose 0.30 percent, or 12.9 points, to 4,325.8.

Hong Kong jumped 3.09 percent, or 592.86 points, to 19,802.16 and Shanghai soared 3.70 percent, or 75.84 points, to 2,127.76.

Draghi said Thursday the ECB would buy unlimited amounts of debt from troubled nations such as Spain and Italy in order to lower their cost of borrowing and help them get back on their feet -- a scheme named "Outright Monetary Transactions".

The OMTs "will enable us to address severe distortions in government bond markets which originate from, in particular, unfounded fears on the part of investors of the reversibility of the euro", Draghi said.

"We will do whatever it takes" to keep the eurozone together, he added.

However, he said the purchases would depend on those countries asking for bailout cash and agreeing to undertake economic reforms.

The announcement "exceeded market expectations, which hasn't happened for a long time," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist and strategist at Credit Agricole in Hong Kong.

"It draws a line, for a while at least, under the issue of peripheral European debt," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Spanish bonds fell late Thursday to 6.0 percent, compared with close to 7.0 percent at the start of the week, while Italy's borrowing costs were at 5.2 percent, from 5.7 percent days ago.

On forex markets the euro rallied to two-month highs against the yen and dollar.

It jumped above the 100 yen level for the first time since July 5, hitting 100.14 in afternoon Tokyo trade, up from 99.60 yen late Thursday in New York.

The common currency also rose to a two-month high of $1.2677, from $1.2629 Thursday.

The dollar also rose Friday, to 78.92 yen from 78.85 yen.

In the United States figures from payrolls company ADP Thursday showed private-sector employment rising by 201,000 in August, after an upwardly revised July gain of 173,000.

The jobs number was well above the average forecast of 143,000, and showed a strong increase of 29,000 in the key service sector from July, to 185,000.

Also lifting sentiment were figures from the Institute for Supply Management Thursday showing its monthly purchasing managers index for the services sector rose to 53.7 from 52.6 in July, scotching worries of a downturn. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

On Wall Street the Dow climbed 1.87 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 2.04 percent -- both to their highest levels since December 2007. The Nasdaq surged 2.17 percent.

Eyes are now on non-farm payrolls data to be released later Friday, which traders said were also "pointing to quite a strong read as well".

On oil markets New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October slipped three cents to $95.51 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for October rose 18 cents to $113.67.

Gold was at $1,694.90 at 0815 GMT compared with $1,708.24 on Thursday. - With ANC, Agence France-Presse