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Index surges to year’s high

Relaxed restrictions will allow more business establishments to open and lift some mobility limits

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Here comes the spike The European Commission is tackling an exceptional rise in energy prices with a ‘toolbox’ of short and medium-term measures to help citizens and businesses get through the winter. European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson gives a briefing on ‘Communication on Energy Prices’ that aims to address the immediate impact of current price increases, and further strengthen resilience against future shocks. / European Union/Xinhua

Local bourse finished yesterday at a fresh record for the year after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases indicated lowering quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region to Alert Level 3 starting Saturday.

Investors flocked to the market, lifting the Philippine Stock Exchange index by 114.19 points to 7,183.11.

This would allow more business establishments to open and lift some mobility restrictions, according to a note of AB Capital Securities Incorporated.

According to the latest guidelines, intrazonal and interzonal travel will be allowed, subject to reasonable restrictions.

For the first time since the lockdowns, entertainment venues such as cinemas will now be allowed to take in guests as well. The alert level system however remains in effect only in Metro Manila and will be monitored for the next few days.

Meanwhile, overseas, investors digested the possibility of the central bank starting the tapering process by mid-November or mid-December based on the minutes from FOMC’s September meeting. Also, September CPI rose faster-than-expected to 5.4 percent year-on-year (y/y), beating the consensus estimate of 5.3 percent y/y.

Global recovery moves on
Asian and European markets rose Thursday as investors maintained optimism in the global recovery outlook but prepared for the end of an era of cheap cash with inflation continuing to surge on the back of supply chain problems and improving demand.

After a year and a half of ultra-loose monetary policies from the world’s central banks, which helped spur a rebound from the pandemic collapse and send equities flying, concern about consistently high price rises is forcing officials to tighten their belts.

Several have already started, including South Korea and New Zealand, with Singapore joining in but all eyes are on the Federal Reserve, with minutes from its most recent meeting showing it plans to move either next month or December.

A higher-than-expected reading on US consumer inflation pushed the case for a November start to tapering its massive bond-buying program, but the main question on traders’ lips is now when it will begin to hike interest rates.

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