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Funds flock to PSEi as US prices heat up



Foreign funds continued to bet on the reccovery of the Philippines as the high US consumer price index (CPI) numbers made them return back to the local exchange. The headline CPI reached 7 percent according to the newest report, which showed another decades-high rate of price increases across the recovering economy. December core CPI rose 0.55 percent against the previous month and the year-on-year rate rose by six tenths to 5.5 percent, the highest level since 1991, Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan said.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) posted an upsurge for the second straight day to close 92.62 percent higher at 7,307.75.

Gold firmed as data showing US inflation was within expectations dented the dollar and prompted buying from investors who seemed to have priced in the US Federal Reserve’s likely interest rate hike trajectory.

Spot gold was last up 0.2 percent at $1,825.83 per ounce (/oz), extending gains after rising the most since mid-December.

U.S. gold futures settled up 0.5 percent at $1,827.3. Oil prices hit two-month highs on Wednesday on tight supply and easing concerns about the potential hit to demand from the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Brent crude futures were up $1.24, or 1.5 percent, at $84.96 per barrel (/bbl). West Texas Intermediate crude futures added two percent, or $1.62, to trade at $82.84/bbl.

Arrears hit China telcos

Beijing reports also indicated measures taken in the United States to delist China’s three state-owned telecommunications giant are telling on their shares.

China Mobile’s public notice indicated unpaid A shares in online trade was over 12.91 million, translating to 743 million yuan ($119 million) worth of shares, while the number of unpaid offline trade was more than 220,000 shares, corresponding to 12.7 million yuan ($2.03 million).

It added up to 756 million yuan ($121 million), which was higher than the 653 million yuan ($100 million) previously reported from China Postal Savings Bank Co., Ltd. in Dec. 2019, thereby setting a new record.