PH and global stocks soar on vaccine hope

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Credit: Read the original article from Manila Standard Business.

The stock market jumped Tuesday on news that a vaccine candidate had been 90 percent effective in treating patients, fueling hopes it could begin to be rolled out this year and bring an end to a pandemic that has battered the world economy.The Philippine Stock Exchange Index soared 349.63 points, or 5.2 percent, to an eight-and-a-half-month high of 7,035.48 on a value turnover of P13.1 billion. Gainers beat losers, 131 to 87, with 35 issues unchanged.SM Investments Corp. of the Sy Group surged 11.1 percent to P1,100, while unit and mall operator SM Prime Holdings Inc. advanced 6.8 percent to P38.30.Major property developer Ayala Land Inc. climbed 8.8 percent to P37.75, while Megaworld Corp., the biggest lessor of office spaces, rose 6.2 percent to P3.45.The rest of Asian markets rallied Tuesday, while Wall Street and European shares soared with oil prices, while safe-haven assets tumbled Monday when US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced results of their Phase 3 trial.The news provided a massive boost to investors who were already in a strong buying mood after Joe Biden’s US election win at the weekend removed a large amount of uncertainty from trading floors.“The clearing of the election fog has permitted underlying market fundamentals to come back into focus and the most recent vaccine news suggests a ‘return to normality’ should be coming sooner rather than later,” said Seema Shah of Principal Global Investors.“All the chips are starting to line up, and market sentiment may be in the early stages of a burst of positive energy.”

Singapore and Bangkok each soared more than three percent with Mumbai and Jakarta up more than one percent. Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney also posted healthy gains.Manila rocketed more than five percent, with traders also welcoming signs the Philippine economy is improving despite a third straight quarter of contraction.Seoul and Wellington were also up, though Shanghai and Taipei fell.Gains were led by companies that have been hammered for most of the year by lockdowns, particularly airlines. Japan Airlines cruised more than 20 percent higher, Qantas jumped more than eight percent and Cathay Pacific piled on 13 percent, as did Singapore Airlines.But tech firms which have benefitted from people being kept at home retreated, as did medical equipment makers. Gaming giants Sony and Nintendo also tanked, just as the sector prepares for the holiday season and the next era of computer consoles, with Microsoft putting its new Xbox on sale.Oil prices dipped after Monday’s surge, while the safe-haven yen edged back slightly—although it was still well off its levels just above 103 to the dollar earlier Monday. Gold struggled to battle back after losing five percent.Tai Hui, at JP Morgan Asset Management, said in a note: “This offers a ray of hope that the market did not hesitate to take advantage of. Investors’ reaction… is in line with our expectations of what would happen if there are signals that some normality can return to our lives.” With AFP

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