Shares close at new record high as market consolidates

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2017 04:06 PM

MANILA - Philippine shares closed at a new record high on Monday, even as volumes were thin as the market consolidated.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index was up 0.68 percent to 8,367.38, beating the previous record close of 8,344.05 set last Oct. 4. The index set a record intra-day high of 8,406.34 last Friday.

Eagle Equities president Joey Roxas said the market was consolidating at the 8,300 to 8,400 level. He said a recent tender offer by Energy Development Corp was expected to help drive liquidity.

Roxas said traders were also watching the progress of tax reform, with the Senate expected to approve its version before it goes on break at the end of the week.

Most Asian markets started the week on a positive note Monday, with Shanghai returning from a week-long break with healthy gains as traders looked past a surprise drop in US jobs. 

But geopolitical tensions returned with another feared North Korea long-range missile test reportedly in the planning and US President Donald Trump suggesting that talking to Kim Jong-Un's regime was a waste of time and "only one thing will work".

The Turkish lira was sitting close to record lows against the dollar as Ankara and Washington each cancelled visa services for the other in a deepening diplomatic row.

Wall Street provided a meek lead for Asia, with the Dow and S&P 500 retreating from record highs in response to figures on Friday showing the US lost 33,000 posts in September -- the first drop since 2010.

However, while the fall compared with a forecast gain of 75,000, analysts pointed to improving wage growth and a further dip in the overall unemployment rate. They added that the figure was likely an aberration owing to one-off events in the hurricanes that hit Florida and Texas.

Shanghai ended 0.8 percent higher as investors returned from the week-long Golden Week celebrations and reacted for the first time to the Chinese central bank's decision to cut the amount of cash banks must hold in reserve as part of a push to help small businesses.

Sydney rose 0.5 percent and Wellington was up 0.4 percent, while Manila put on 0.2 percent. However, Hong Kong retreated 0.5 percent and Singapore was 0.2 percent off.

Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei were closed for public holidays.

In early European trade London dipped 0.1 percent but Paris gained 0.1 percent and Frankfurt put on 0.2 percent.

NORTH KOREA FEARS

Eyes are now turning back to the US-North Korea standoff after a Russian lawmaker said Pyongyang was planning to fire another missile, which could hit the US west coast.

"There was news over the weekend that 'the little rocket man' in North Korea is now capable of launching a missile that can hit the US mainland," Shane Channel, equity and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers, said in a commentary referring to Trump's name for Kim.

That, added to Trump's remark, led to a return to safe-haven assets with gold up more than one percent at $1,285 on Monday.

The dollar held up against its major peers as markets continue to bet on a third interest rate hike this year, likely in December.

The pound faced fresh pressure with uncertainty surrounding Prime Minister Theresa May's future while the euro continues to struggle with the fallout from Catalonia's unofficial vote in favour of independence from Spain, fuelling fears about one of the eurozone's biggest economies.

The greenback also soared more than six percent to 3.8533 lira at one point before easing slightly as Ankara and Washington traded barbs over the arrest of a local staffer at the US embassy in Turkey.

"This latest escalation adds more fuel to the fire after tension was nearing a boil... over US support for Syrian Kurdish militants in the war against ISIS," said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA. Turkey views the Kurdish militants as a terrorist group. 

KEY FIGURES AROUND 0720 GMT (3:20 p.m. Monday in Manila)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.8 percent at 3,374.38 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.5 percent at 28,308.01

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a public holiday

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,513.00

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1700 from $1.1736 at 2100 GMT on Friday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.60 yen from 112.65 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3095 from $1.3069

Dollar/Turkish lira: UP at 3.7002 lira from 3.6147 lira

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 14 cents at $49.43 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 16 cents at $55.78 per barrel

New York - DOW: FLAT at 22,773.67 (close)

-- with reports from Agence France-Presse