Stocks rose slightly Tuesday in cautious trading as investors remained wary over rising inflation and a possible global recession.
The Philippine Stock Exchange added 17.46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,286.24 on a value turnover of P3.8 billion. Gainers beat losers, 99 to 77, with 51 issued unchanged.
International Container Terminal Services Inc. of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., the biggest port operator, climbed 4.5 percent to P186, while Semirara Mining and Power Corp. of the Consunji Group, the largest coal producer, advanced 3.4 percent to P39.25.
BDO Unibank Inc. of the Sy Group, the biggest lender in terms of assets, however, fell 2.9 percent to P117.50, while Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. of the Ty Group, the second-largest bank, declined 2.6 percent to P45.70.
Meanwhile, most stocks fell Tuesday after a Wall Street sell-off fueled by fresh recession worries following a report that Apple planned to ease back on spending due to uncertainty over the economic outlook.
The drop across most markets in Asia also came as oil held a Monday surge caused by fading expectations that Joe Biden had convinced Saudi Arabia to pump more to ease a supply crisis and temper prices.
The losses among equities ate into Monday’s gains, which came after a forecast-beating US retail sales report suggested consumers—the key driver of growth—remained resilient despite decade-high inflation and rising interest rates.
And analysts warned that with the earnings season just getting under way, there could be more pain ahead for investors as firms report falling profits or warn about the outlook.
In a sign of concern among big-cap firms about an economic slowdown or recession, Bloomberg News said tech titan Apple was pulling back on hiring and some investments.
The report led to a reversal on Wall Street, with all three main indexes ending in negative territory, having enjoyed most of the day well up.
Asia and Europe struggled Tuesday.
Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Wellington and Bangkok all fell, though Tokyo rose as investors there returned from a long weekend to play catch-up with Monday’s regional rally. Mumbai and Jakarta also rose, while Shanghai was marginally higher. With AFP
The news follows similar belt-tightening moves by other Silicon Valley giants including Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook parent Meta.
“With Apple putting up their hand and acknowledging they have too many staff, it is a clear sign of caution from the mega-cap heavyweight giants amid an uncertain time,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.
“Investors are hoping for a ‘kitchen-sink’ quarter where corporates flush out all the bad news at once—but I am not sure that will happen, and I think this makes it difficult to put an absolute bottom on the equity selloff.”
Innes added that markets were likely to face pressure for some time as central banks continue to lift borrowing costs to fight inflation, risking an economic downturn.
“The probability of recession is dominating US discussions, as inflation might have peaked in June while the Fed still has a couple of massive hikes ahead before possibly pausing,” he said. With AFP