PH shares pull back after hitting 8,500 peak


Posted at Oct 18 2017 10:37 AM

MANILA - Share prices took a pause on Wednesday, after the main index pierced the 8,500-ceiling and set a new record high in the previous day.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index was down 0.31 percent to 8,471.43 in early trading. The peso opened at P51.37 from P51.33 on Tuesday.

The market was due for a correction, with tax reform largely priced in by investors, BPI Securities research head Haj Narvaez told ANC's Market Edge.

While the government's declaration that Marawi City had been liberated from extremists boosted sentiment, the 5-month-long fighting was not big worry for investors, Narvaez said.

Asian shares consolidated recent gains and currencies kept to tight ranges as investors waited to see what policies might emerge from China's Communist Party conference.

The twice-a-decade congress is expected to cement the authority of President Xi Jinping, who kicks off the week-long event with a speech outlining his plans for the next 5 years.

Markets are keen for any direction on economic and financial market reform, though history suggests these events can be light on detail.

On Tuesday, the United States again declined to name China as a currency manipulator although it remained critical of the Chinese government's economic policies ahead of a planned visit to Beijing by President Donald Trump.

Recent economic data from the Asian giant has been generally upbeat, fuelling a tide of optimism about global growth that has benefited shares across the region.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.13 percent, near their highest since late 2007, while Australia was a fraction firmer.

Japan's Nikkei added 0.3 percent and was trying to string together a 12th straight session of gains. The bullish mood on equities was evident in the latest fund manager survey from BofA Merrill Lynch.

"For the first time in 6 years, Goldilocks trumps secular stagnation, with a record high 48 percent of investors surveyed expecting above-trend economic growth and below-trend inflation," the survey found.

Investors were bearish on bonds with 82 percent of those surveyed expecting yields to rise in the next 12 months and a record 85 percent believing bonds were overvalued.

Indeed, yields on 2-year Treasury paper have hit their highest since November 2008 amid speculation President Trump could chose a more hawkish leader to replace Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Interest rates futures imply around a 90 percent probability of a Fed hike in December.

The shift upward in yields lifted the dollar to one-week top against a basket of currencies, and kept it steady on the yen at 112.20.

The euro was holding at $1.1777, still some way above the recent low and major chart support at $1.1667.

Dealers were wary ahead of speeches by several policymakers from the European Central Bank due later on Wednesday, which includes President Mario Draghi.

The biggest mover had been Mexico's peso which boasted its biggest rise in over 4 months after trade ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico extended the deadline on a contentious round of talks.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up a slim 0.18 percent having briefly broken above the 23,000-point mark for the first time on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 gained 0.07 percent and the Nasdaq dipped 0.01 percent.

Shares in IBM jumped nearly 5 percent after hours as a shift to newer businesses such as cloud and security services helped it beat Wall Street's quarterly revenue estimates.

In commodity markets, talk of higher US interest rates kept gold pinned at $1,286.41 an ounce.

Oil prices started stronger with Brent crude futures up 38 cents at $58.26 per barrel, while US crude gained 19 cents to $52.07. -- with reports from Reuters