PH, Asian, world stocks gain on Covid vaccine hopes


Asian stocks and Wall Street futures rose on Monday as investors looked ahead to quarterly US economic data amid unease about anti-coronavirus restrictions.

In the Philippines, the main stock index gained Monday on optimism for a possible coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 0.12 percent, or 8.83 points, to 7,178.62 points.

“The PSEi slightly settled up as positive developments for a vaccine distribution offset negative news of soaring Covid-19 cases and disagreements on new (US) stimulus,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said.

The Philippine stock exchange’s trade volume reached 10.3 billion shares amounting to P11.93 billion, and advancers led decliners at 147 to 77, while 45 shares were unchanged.

Meanwhile, London, Shanghai, Frankfurt and Hong Kong advanced. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Investors awaited US economic growth data due to be out Wednesday after Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week down as rising infection numbers collided with hopes for a possible Covid-19 vaccine. Also Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve is to report on its latest meeting, though no surprises are expected.

Investors have been rattled by decisions to reimpose anti-virus controls in the United States, Europe and some Asian countries that threaten to hamper retail spending, travel and other business activity.

“In the short term, the negative news may well win out,” Patrik Schowitz of J.P. Morgan Asset Management said in a report. He noted US data are “beginning to wobble a bit.”

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.4 percent to 6,378.47 and the DAX in Frankfurt added 1 percent to 13,266.93. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.8 percent to 5,538.19.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up 0.7 percent. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.8-percent higher.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1 percent to 3,414.49 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was 0.1-percent higher at 26,486.20.

The Kospi in Seoul jumped 1.9 percent to 2,602.59 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 6,561.60. The New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also gained. CURENTPH

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