Philippines Stocks Close 0.2% Higher
The PSE Index rose 11 points or 0.2% to end at 6,389 on Monday after falling in the early session, as traders shifted their attention to flash US manufacturing PMI in April that hit its highest since the series began in May 2007. Meanwhile, separate data showed US new home sales climbed to an over 14-1/2-year high in March. On the bond market, 10-year US Treasury yields were not far from a recent six-week low on hopes the Fed will stay dovish at its meeting this week. The sentiment was also lifted by reports that the Philippines was expecting an accelerated delivery of virus vaccines starting May. On Sunday, total virus caseloads in the country neared 1 million as it confirmed 8,162 new cases, bringing the total to 997,523. Meanwhile, Moderna reportedly has filed for an emergency use authorization for its virus doses to be used in the nation. Traders now look at the release of Q1 US GDP data this week. Among top gainers were energy (3.8%), financials (1.1%), and property (0.3%).
Corn Extends Gains to Near 8-Year High
Chicago corn futures rose to above $6.6 per bushel for the first time since July 2013 amid concerns over tightening global supplies and robust demand from China. The world’s two biggest corn exporters have been hit by unfavorable weather with dryness in Brazil and a cold period in the US raising supply worries. Meantime, stocks from the 2020 harvest have been diminishing and demand from China has been growing. At the same time, the world’s No. 3 corn supplier and top exporter of soymeal livestock feed Argentina is considering an increase in grains export taxes.
Chinese Shares Fall 1%
The Shanghai Composite fell 33 points or 0.95% to 3441.16 on Monday, retracing gains of 0.97% in the previous week as traders became cautious over worsening pandemic situations, particularly in India and Japan. India saw a fifth straight day of record jump in virus cases on Monday, while Japan last Friday announced its third state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, and two other prefectures. Meanwhile, the Fed will hold its two-day open-market committee convening its regular meeting from tomorrow. Policymakers are expected to reiterate their support for the economy by sustaining its ultra-loose policy accommodation. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index lost 130.26 points or 0.45% to 28948.49.
UK Stocks Trade Lower on Monday
The FTSE 100 traded slightly down at 6,920 on Monday, led by declines in export-oriented companies and energy stocks on the back of a stronger pound and a fall in crude prices. On the corporate front, shares of education group Pearson rose more than 3% after posting a 5% increase in underlying revenue growth in the first quarter, helped by strong demand for online learning courses. In addition, miner Antofagasta gained 1.1% after copper prices hit their highest in over 10 years. Elsewhere, concerns over rising COVID-19 cases globally continued to weigh on sentiment, while traders eye the releases of first-quarter GDP data for Europe and the US later in the week, as well as the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement on Wednesday.